MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jamie Gaida, PhD
Discipline of Physiotherapy
University of Canberra
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Gaida: Cholesterol is essential for life but having too much circulating in your blood increases cardiovascular disease risk. A growing collection of evidence indicates that metabolic health (i.e. cholesterol and diabetes) is linked to musculoskeletal injuries.
Tendons connect muscle to bone, and tendinopathy is condition where a person feels pain when using their tendons. People with Achilles tendinopathy experience pain when walking or when running, which limits their ability to be physically active. Tendinopathy also affects other tendons throughout the body, such as the rotator cuff tendons of the shoulder.
This research identified all published research on the link between cholesterol levels and tendinopathy. We used a statistical technique called meta-analysis to combine these studies, which showed that cholesterol levels are linked to tendinopathy. However, the most interesting finding was that the pattern of cholesterol changes seen with tendinopathy matched the pattern of cholesterol changes that increase cardiovascular disease risk. It seems that what is bad for you heart is bad for your tendons.