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What is ‘LDL cholesterol’?

LDL cholesterol is an important contributor to the risk of coronary heart disease, and its measurement is central to evaluating the effects of lipid-modifying therapies. Several ‘LDL-cholesterol’ assays exist but their methodologies differ, leading to between-assay heterogeneity in values of ‘LDL cholesterol’. We advocate the need for awareness of the potential implications.

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Fig. 1: Circulating, apoB-containing lipoproteins and methods for quantifying ‘LDL cholesterol’.


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M.V.H. is supported by a British Heart Foundation Intermediate Clinical Research Fellowship (FS/18/23/33512). M.A.-K. is supported by a Senior Research Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia (APP1158958) and works in a Unit that is supported by the University of Bristol and UK Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12013/1).

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Correspondence to Michael V. Holmes or Mika Ala-Korpela.

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Holmes, M.V., Ala-Korpela, M. What is ‘LDL cholesterol’?. Nat Rev Cardiol 16, 197–198 (2019).

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