Lifehacker today had a post listing a series of health myths which are contradicted by science.....some are the obvious ones - e.g. cold weather does't give you a cold - but surprisingly for a "conventional wisdom" type blog, they also state:
Myth 9: High Cholesterol Causes Heart Disease
Until writing this article, I believed high cholesterol was the primary contributing factor towards heart disease. It's been a myth I've been told my entire life because I'm prone to cholesterol problems and have watched my levels very carefully since I was a child. According to Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, and many others, the data doesn't consistently link high cholesterol with heart problems. It seems the real culprit is more commonly high blood pressure, and cholesterol problems may have found themselves grouped in because the two issues often appeared together. This doesn't mean you want higher levels of cholesterol (with the exception of your HDLs), but that if you're worrying about a heart attack it's not the first sign of trouble.
Well there you go....who would have thought it?