A case study documenting improved cholesterol levels and quality of life as a result of chiropractic care was published in the June 2, 2011, issue of the scientific periodical the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research. This study noted that cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. The study also reports that a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease is dyslipidemia which they define as a "combination of ill-favored cholesterol levels in the circulating blood".
In this study, a 49-year-old female dental hygienist went to a chiropractor with complaints of neck pain, right carpal tunnel syndrome, and low back pain. When a history was taken, it was also noted that the woman had dyslipidemia, which in this case, was shown by abnormal lab levels including elevated cholesterol levels.
A chiropractic examination and x-rays were performed on the woman which showed a decreased range of motion, postural anomalies, and disc space changes in the vertebrae of her neck. From these and additional findings, it was determined that the woman had vertebral subluxations. The authors of the study defined subluxation by saying, "A vertebral subluxation is a dysfunction of a biomechanical segment in the spine that actively alters proper neurological function and can lead to visceral and neuromusculoskeletal disorders."
A specific course of chiropractic care was initiated at the rate of two to three visits per week. The study reported improvements in cholesterol with the following changes having occurred. "During initial care, her total cholesterol improved from 221 to 170 mg/dL, LDL (bad cholesterol) went from 153 to 109 mg/dL and HDL (good cholesterol) went from 33 to 38 mg/dL. Triglycerides improved from 241 to 199 mg/dL."
In addition to the blood cholesterol changes, the woman's quality of life was improved as measured by eight categories, including her reporting a decrease in pain, as well as self-reported improvement in her general health and emotional well-being.