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Ann Clin Lab Sci. 2007 Autumn;37(4):343-8.

Low serum LDL cholesterol levels and the risk of fever, sepsis, and malignancy.

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Department of Internal Medicine, The Edith Wolfson Medical Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Holon, Israel.


Lipid lowering therapy of serum LDL cholesterol (LDL) has proved beneficial in reducing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Lately the recommended target LDL level in very high risk patients was reduced to <70 mg/dl, raising the question of what the price of such a low level will be. To elucidate this concern, we investigated the associations of low serum LDL cholesterol levels (< or = 70 mg/dl) and the incidences of fever, sepsis, and malignancy. Retrospective analysis of 203 patients' charts was carried out. Patients were divided into 2 groups: Group 1 (n = 79) had serum LDL levels < or = 70 mg/dl, while Group 2 (n = 124) had levels >70 mg/dl. The first group demonstrated increased odds of hematological cancer by more than 15-fold (OR 15.7, 95% CI 1.78-138.4, p = 0.01). Each 1 mg/dl increase in LDL was associated with a relative reduction of 2.4% in the odds of hematological cancer (OR 0.976, 95% CI 0.956-0.997, p = 0.026). Low LDL levels also increased the odds of fever and sepsis between the groups (OR 5.3, 95% CI 1.8-15.7, p = 0.02). In summary, low serum LDL cholesterol level was associated with increased risks of hematological cancer, fever, and sepsis.

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