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High Cholesterol leads to Tendonitis | Blog | County Pathology Ltd

High Cholesterol leads to Tendonitis


Researchers have found that a high cholesterol level seems to be linked with tendonitis.
High cholesterol levels are associated with tendon problems, according to a review of studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Tendons are the tough fibres (sinews) that connect muscles to bones. Tendinopathy is a general term that is used to describe pain or abnormality in the tendons.
Nobody knows the exact cause of tendinopathy, but it is often associated with overuse. However, about a third of cases of tendinopathy occur in people who are inactive. In fact, the condition is quite common in people who are obese. This has led some scientists to suggest that the mechanical pressure of the extra weight can damage the tendons and cause pain. But this is unlikely to be the whole story as obese people also frequently get tendon pain in parts of their body that do not bear much weight, such as their arms.
Another theory about the causes of tendinopathy is that blood fats (lipids), such as cholesterol and triglycerides, cause low level inflammation that interferes with the structure of tendons. The fact that people with familial hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol that runs in families) often have Achilles tendon problems lends some weight to this theory.
In this latest study, researchers Monash University in Australia wanted to know if there is an association between abnormal lipid levels and changes in tendon structure or tendon pain. To do this, they conducted a review of previous studies and pooled the data from those studies for a ‘meta-analysis’. Because a meta-analysis contains more data than individual studies, the statistics are more reliable.
The researchers found 17 studies to include in their review, involving 2,612 participants in total. The studies were of variable quality.
The meta-analysis revealed that tendinopathy is significantly associated with higher total cholesterol, higher low-density lipoprotein cholesterol ( bad cholesterol) and higher triglycerides, as well as lower high-density lipoprotein ( good cholesterol).