Cholesterol Crystals Linked to Heart Attack
Cholesterol crystals – cholesterol particles in a crystalized state – play an important role during heart attack, suggests a study conducted by researchers at Michigan State University and published in the American Journal of Cardiology.
The study involved 240 emergency room patients who had suffered heart attacks. Researchers analyzed the material obstructing the coronary arteries and discovered an excessive amount of cholesterol crystals in 89 percent of cases. Cholesterol crystals are released from arterial plaque that can build up and harden over time – a condition called atherosclerosis. This plaque is comprised of fat, calcium, and other substances.
This study further confirms the importance of maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and treating abnormal cholesterol levels with lifestyle changes and, possibly, medications – including statin drugs. According to the researchers, it also demonstrates the importance of using treatments that dissolve cholesterol crystals to reduce heart damage during a heart attack.