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Low Cholesterol Leads To Worse Survival In Kidney Cancer Patients

Update Date: Jun 12, 2014 11:05 AM EDT

Normally people are told to take care of their cholesterol to improve their heart health. However a new study is suggesting that low cholesterol may increase kidney patients' risk of dying from their disease. 

The study also indicates that cholesterol testing might help doctors as they monitor and treat patients with kidney cancer. 

In the study researchers analyzed total blood cholesterol levels in 867 patients with renal cell carcinoma prior they underwent kidney surgery. They then followed the patients for a median of 52 months. 

Low blood cholesterol before treatment was associated with more advanced tumor stages and cancer spread during follow-up. Also, patients with high cholesterol had a 43 percent lower risk of dying from their cancer compared with patients with low cholesterol. Finally, including patients' cholesterol levels with traditional risk factors increased the accuracy of prognoses, according to the press release.

 Researchers are yet to explain how cholesterol may affect a kidney cancer patients' prognosis. 

"As this was a hypothesis-generating study, our findings should be confirmed in independent datasets. If confirmed, patients with low cholesterol may be considered high-risk and may be treated or followed up more aggressively," said lead researchers Tobias Klatte, MD, of the Medical University of Vienna in Austria, in the press release.

The research was published in BJU International. 

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