Low cholesterol linked to anxiety, depression, suicide, hemorrhagic stroke and cancers

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People with very low cholesterol levels are at increased risk of developing stomach cancer, according to a study published in the International Journal of Cancer.

The study involved 2,600 residents of Hisayama, Japan, who were followed for 14 years. Gastric cancers developed in 97 subjects. After accounting for age and gender, stomach cancer rates rose significantly with descending cholesterol level. For example, among subjects with the highest cholesterol levels, the gastric cancer rate was the equivalent of 2.1 cases per 1000 persons per year; among those with the lowest cholesterol, the rate was 3.9 per 1000 persons per year.

Patients with low serum cholesterol should consider periodic gastrointestinal examination for the prevention of stomach cancer.

Low cholesterol has been earlier linked to depression, anxiety and suicide in both men and women. Another earlier report has also shown that people with cholesterol level below 180 had twice the risk of brain hemorrhage as compared to those with cholesterol levels of 230.