High cholesterol levels increase tendon complications and pain, according to a review published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Researchers reviewed 17 studies that encompassed 2,612 participants with tendon pain or abnormal tendon structure. Those who experienced more pain had higher LDL and triglyceride levels and lower HDL levels, compared with those who had the least amount of pain. Tendon injuries, inflammation, and other complications also increased with higher cholesterol levels. These data suggest that high cholesterol in the blood causes cholesterol buildup in the cells to inhibit tendon utility, similar to the effects of high cholesterol levels on arterial function.
- Tilley BJ, Cook JL, Docking SI, Gaida JE. Is higher serum cholesterol associated with altered tendon structure or tendon pain? A systematic review. Br J Sports Med. Published online October 15, 2015.