Statins creating a social gap in cholesterol levels
By Amy Norton
October 15, 2009

Using government survey data from 1976 to 2004, researchers found that after statin drugs were introduced, wealthier Americans saw a sharp reduction in their average cholesterol levels — double the decline among low-income Americans.

The result, the researchers say, has been a flip in the relationship between income and cholesterol. In the late 1970s, higher-income Americans generally had higher cholesterol, whereas now poorer Americans have the highest levels.

“Back in the day, wealthier people had higher cholesterol because they were better able to afford a higher-fat diet — more red meat, butter, eggs,” said lead researcher Dr. Virginia W. Chang, of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Reminds me of the white bread/wheat bread dichotomy of centuries ago. The rich ate white bread because it was the civilized, cultured thing to do, leaving brown or wheat bread to the peasant folk. The upper class was unknowingly eating the less healthy of the two options. These days if the rich can purposely choose the higher cholesterol option and just buy a drug to stay healthy.

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