Cholesterol and heart health


Sir, – I read with great concern the article “‘No evidence’ high cholesterol causes heart disease, say doctors” (News, September 13th), which details the controversial and fringe views published in a journal that ranks just 113 out of 261 journals in pharmacology (hardly a leading voice in the field). This was not a scientific paper, rather an opinion piece. These fringe views challenge the settled science that cholesterol (specifically LDL-cholesterol) is a cause of heart disease. I respect the right of The Irish Times to publish these views and the right of the authors to express them. I also encourage discourse in science. However, The Irish Times has published this piece without any balancing perspective representing the vast majority of scientists and physicians who believe the boundless data showing beyond reasonable doubt that LDL-cholesterol does cause heart disease.

Would The Irish Times publish a piece of creationism or climate-change denial without a balancing perspective? The stakes are higher here as non-compliance with lifestyle and drug therapies that reduce LDL-cholesterol is associated with adverse health outcomes. I implore The Irish Times to immediately retract or balance this article in the interest of the health and well-being of its readers. – Yours, etc,


Medical and Research


National Institute

for Preventive Cardiology,

Newcastle, Galway.