- With Mayo Clinic cardiologist
Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.read biographyclose window
Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D.
Dr. Thomas Behrenbeck is a native of Germany, where he received his medical education at the Westfalian Wilhelm University in Munster and became board certified in internal medicine and cardiology.
He also received a Ph.D. in biophysics and physiology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Behrenbeck joined the Mayo Clinic staff in 1990 and is currently an associate professor at Mayo Medical School and an academic faculty member at the Westfalian Wilhelm University. He is the past chair of the Cardiovascular Medicine & Surgery NetWork of the American College of Chest Physicians.
Dr. Behrenbeck is a noninvasive cardiologist, specializing in cardiovascular (CV) imaging modalities (echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and CT), coronary artery disease and prevention of coronary artery disease. His research interests are the application of imaging technology to early recognition and treatment of atherosclerosis. He is passionate about patients' involvement in their health issues.
"The Internet and patient education present ideal synergies in the ever-growing field of knowledge in cardiology," he says.
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Cholesterol level: Can it be too low?
Can your total cholesterol level be too low?
from Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.
A high blood cholesterol level increases your risk of coronary artery disease. Lower cholesterol is usually better, but in rare cases having a low level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol or a low total cholesterol level could increase your risk of some health problems. Doctors are still trying to find out more about the connection between low cholesterol and health risks.
Although the risks are rare, low levels of LDL cholesterol may increase your risk of:
- Preterm birth and low birth weight if your cholesterol is low while you're pregnant
These conditions should be considered if your cholesterol suddenly drops significantly, without any other explanation, such as taking cholesterol medications, dieting or exercise. If you're concerned about your cholesterol level, consult your doctor. He or she can determine the cholesterol range most appropriate for you.Next question
Cholesterol ratio: Is it important?
- Ahn J, et al. Prediagnostic total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and risk of cancer. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. 2009;18:2814.
- Alsheikh-Ali AA, et al. Effect of the magnitude of lipid lowering on risk of elevated liver enzymes, rhabdomyolysis, and cancer. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2007;50:409.
- Troisi A. Cholesterol in coronary heart disease and psychiatric disorders: Same or opposite effects on morbidity risk? Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 2009;33:125.
- Boscarino JA, et al. Low serum cholesterol and external-cause mortality: Potential implications for research and surveillance. Journal of Psychiatric Research. 2009;43:848.
- Edison RJ, et al. Adverse birth outcome among mothers with low serum cholesterol. Pediatrics. 2007;120:723.
- Executive summary of the Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cholesterol/atp3xsum.pdf. Accessed Oct. 10, 2012.