High Cholesterol Linked to Tendinopathy
Written by Editor   
Monday, November 30, 2015 08:15 AM

High cholesterol levels are associated with tendon problems, according to a review of studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Tendinopathy is a general term that is used to describe pain or abnormality in the tendons.  Nobody knows the exact cause of tendinopathy, but it is often associated with overuse.  However, about a third of cases of tendinopathy occur in people who are inactive. In fact, the condition is quite common in people who are obese.

Another theory about the causes of tendinopathy is that blood fats (lipids), such as cholesterol and triglycerides, cause low level inflammation that interferes with the structure of tendons. The fact that people with familial hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol that runs in families) often have Achilles tendon problems lends some weight to this theory.

In this latest study, researchers Monash University in Australia wanted to know if there is an association between abnormal lipid levels and changes in tendon structure or tendon pain. To do this, they conducted a review of previous studies and pooled the data from those studies for a ‘meta-analysis’. Because a meta-analysis contains more data than individual studies, the statistics are more reliable.

The meta-analysis revealed that tendinopathy is significantly associated with higher total cholesterol, higher low-density lipoprotein cholesterol ( bad cholesterol) and higher triglycerides, as well as lower high-density lipoprotein ( good cholesterol).

The authors of the study conclude that "the current work indicates that there is indeed an association between unfavourable changes in lipid parameters and tendinopathy". And they suggest that link may have something to do with high lipid levels causing constant low level inflammation.

Source:  http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/852889