Despite a declining trend of mortality seen over the last decades, cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in the United States. Over the years, advances in science and technology have facilitated the gain of new knowledge and discoveries leading to substantial improvement in our understanding of the underlying disease-causing mechanisms. As a result, CVD is established as a chronic disease caused by a complex interplay between multiple factors where genetic and environmental influences play vital roles in shaping its ultimate outcome. Among the many disease-causing factors, dyslipidemia characterized by elevated levels of atherogenic lipids and lipoproteins (low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol, small dense LDL particles, triglycerides, remnant lipoproteins, and so forth) and low levels of antiatherogenic lipoproteins (high-density lipoprotein [HDL] cholesterol) have garnered considerable attention and been a subject of a long-standing investigation by a large number of biomedical researchers. Among these various lipid/lipoprotein abnormalities, a low level of HDL cholesterol is the most commonly observed type in patients with premature CVD,
1and it has been shown to be a strong, consistent, and independent predictor of incident cardiovascular events
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4and in some cases, a superior predictor of CVD risk when compared to an elevated level of LDL cholesterol.
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Published online: March 14, 2016
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