the Norwegian HUNT 2 study
AbstractRationale, aims and objectives
Many clinical guidelines for cardiovascular disease
(CVD) prevention contain risk estimation charts/calculators. These have shown a tendency
to overestimate risk, which indicates that there might be theoretical flaws in the algorithms.
Total cholesterol is a frequently used variable in the risk estimates. Some studies indicate
that the predictive properties of cholesterol might not be as straightforward as widely
assumed. Our aim was to document the strength and validity of total cholesterol as a risk
factor for mortality in a well-defined, general Norwegian population without known CVD
Our study provides an updated epidemiological indication of possible errors
in the CVD risk algorithms of many clinical guidelines. If our findings are generalizable,
clinical and public health recommendations regarding the ‘dangers’ of cholesterol should
be revised. This is especially true for women, for whom moderately elevated cholesterol
(by current standards) may prove to be not only harmless but even beneficial.We assessed the association of
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