Summary: All-cause mortality is the most appropriate outcome to use when investigating risk factors for lifethreatening disease.
Section 1 discusses all-cause mortality according to cholesterol levels, as determined by large epidemiological studies in Japan. Overall, an inverse trend is found between all-cause mortality and total (or low density lipoprotein [LDL]) cholesterol levels: mortality is highest in the lowest cholesterol group without exception. If limited to elderly people, this trend is universal.
As discussed in Section 2, elderly people with the highest cholesterol levels have the highest survival rates irrespective of where they live in the world.