And in reply: from

‘The more LDL there is in the blood, the more rapidly atherosclerosis develops.’ This 1984 statement by the Nobel Award winners Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein1 has dominated research on atherosclerosis since then. As shown here, this hypothesis appears to be falsified by the fact that degree of atherosclerosis, and atherosclerotic growth, were independent on the concentration or the change of LDL‐cholesterol in almost all studies. The role of LDL‐cholesterol for atherosclerosis growth has been exaggerated, a finding with consequences for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. For instance, as the statins exert their beneficial influence on the cardiovascular system by several mechanisms, it may be wiser to search for the lowest effective dose instead of the dose with maximal effect on LDL‐cholesterol. Neither should an elevated LDL‐cholesterol be the primary target in cardiovascular prevention, as recently claimed by the American National Cholesterol Education Program, and researchers should direct more attention to other hypotheses.