ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) — There is an increased risk of suicide for people who are experiencing a decrease in their level of cholesterol.
According to data collected from 11,554 participants in a new study released by Canadian researchers, people in the lowest quartile of serum total cholesterol had over six times the risk of suicide compared to subjects in the highest quartile. And people within the second and third quartiles had a three- and two-fold increased risk respectively, compared with subjects in the highest quartile
“It may be that those with low serum total cholesterol are a heterogeneous population, composed of those with naturally low levels, those with low levels because of poor diet, and those with low levels because of the effects of interleukin-2, wrote the researchers from the Nutrition Canada Survey.
“Whether low cholesterol promotes depression, or is a consequence of it remains to be determined. This is an increasingly important question, given the ability of new pharmacotherapies to lower serum cholesterol dramatically.”
The researchers noted 27 deaths due to suicide among the test subjects.
The effect continued even after unemployed subjects, and those treated for depression, were removed from the analysis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, High cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms. Only a doctor’s check will reveal it.
A doctor can do a simple blood test to check your cholesterol levels. The test is called a lipoprotein profile. It measures several kinds of cholesterol as well as triglycerides. Some doctors do a simpler blood test that just checks total and HDL cholesterol.