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Cholesterol crystals 'linked to cardiovascular problems'

Cholesterol crystals 'linked to cardiovascular problems'
2nd April 2009

A recent study has revealed that cholesterol crystals are linked to an increased chance of having a stroke, according to scientists from the US.

In research carried out by Michigan State University, such crystals can disrupt plaque in a person's cardiovascular system and build up along the wall of an artery, turning from its original state as a liquid to a sharp solid.

This could result in a bigger fallout from strokes as linings could be torn as a result.

Chief of cardiology at MSU George Abela said: "If it's a big pool of cholesterol, it will expand, causing the 'cap' of the deposit to tear off in the arterial wall.

"Or the crystals, which are sharp, needle-like structures, poke their way through the cap covering the cholesterol deposit, like nails through wood."

Last month, scientists at the University of California looked into additional cholesterol in a diet by giving zebrafish - transparent water-dwellers - more of it in their diets, literally seeing how it builds up to better understand ways to prevent stroke.

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