Uffe Ravnskov’s book ,The Cholesterol Myths, published in Swedish in 1991 and in English in 2000. That book has been severely criticized, for instance, A typical claim: “Cholesterol is highly protective against cancer, infection and atherosclerosis” and “high TC total cholesterol and LDL levels are beneficial at all ages.” These statements are not only false, they are potentially dangerous to the health of those who believe them.
I’ll admit there is a grain of truth in what they say. The public may falsely perceive cholesterol as some kind of “Great Satan” of heart disease, and diet has been overemphasized, and some doctors may be over-prescribing statins. But there is plenty of evidence from multiple avenues of research to show that high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease and that lowering it reduces risk. A Lancet article from December 2007 reviewed trials involving nearly a million people and found that “Total cholesterol was positively associated with IHD [ischemic heart disease] mortality in both middle and old age and at all blood pressure levels.”
Another Lancet meta-analysis of over 90.000 patients concluded “Statin therapy can safely reduce the 5-year incidence of major coronary events, coronary revascularisation, and stroke by about one fifth per mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol, largely irrespective of the initial lipid profile or other presenting characteristics. The absolute benefit relates chiefly to an individual’s absolute risk of such events and to the absolute reduction in LDL cholesterol achieved. These findings reinforce the need to consider prolonged statin treatment with substantial LDL cholesterol reductions in all patients at high risk of any type of major vascular event.”