The State of the Heart

If you thought cholesterol was all you had to worry about, better think again

As recently as five years ago, doctors thought they had a pretty clear picture of what causes a heart attack. They saw it as a plumbing problem: too much fat in the diet builds up in the blood vessels that feed the heart, creating stoppages that starve the heart of oxygen. It was an elegant model and one that patients could understand. But it's not that simple. Cholesterol, it turns out, is just the starting point of a cascade of interlocking events. Underlying the new research presented at the American Heart Association meeting last week was a clear message: this isn't...

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