An analysis of cholesterol values by usual hospital laboratory methods in 1,700 patients with atherosclerotic disease revealed no definite correlation between serum cholesterol levels and the nature and extent of atherosclerotic disease. Eight out of ten patients had cholesterol values below 300 mg/100 ml, the upper limits of normal for the procedure employed. Associated diseases such as diabetes mellitus and arteriosclerotic heart disease, age, and anatomical location and extent of atherosclerotic disease did not significantly alter the distribution of cholesterol values. Although an elevated cholesterol level may be a factor in abnormal lipid metabolism and associated atherosclerotic disease, the majority of patients in this group had serum cholesterol values within the accepted normal range for Americans.
Garrett HE, Horning EC, Creech BG, De Bakey M. Serum Cholesterol Values in Patients Treated Surgically for Atherosclerosis. JAMA. 1964;189(9):655-659. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070090005001