People with high cholesterol are at risk of heart attack and stroke because atherosclerotic plaques within their arteries can rupture triggering the formation of a blood clot called an occlusive thrombus that cuts off the blood supply to their heart or brain.
People with high cholesterol are at risk of heart attack and strokeFor years, scientists have studied the cause of this abnormal clotting. Now, a study led by researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, has identified a molecular pathway that leads to this abnormal blood clotting and turned it off using a popular class of cholesterol-lowering drugs, statins.
The research was performed using humans, monkeys and mice with highly elevated blood lipid levels. It indicated that elevated levels of oxidized low density lipoprotein (LDL) induces a molecule called “tissue factor” that triggers clotting. The study appears online in the January 3, 2012 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Continue reading