Researchers found that study participants who reached their 85th birthdays tended to have high levels of good cholesterol while in their 60s.
To investigate, researchers reviewed medical records of about 650 veterans when they were around 65 years old, then grouped them based on HDL levels.
Starting with low levels of 40 mg/dL, researchers found that for each ten mg/dL increase of HDL, the men were 14 percent less likely to have died by 85. In fact, men with the highest good (HDL) cholesterol were nearly 30 percent less likely to die before they reached 85, compared to men in the lowest HDL group.
What's more, fewer of the men with higher HDL were overweight, and they tended not to have more than 2 drinks a day. And fewer of them had heart disease or smoked, compared to the lowest HDL group.
The study was published in the American Journal of Cardiology.
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