Submitted to: Journal of Lipid Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/1994
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Cholesterol in the bloodstream is mainly carried by low density lipoproteins (LDL) and by high density lipoproteins (HDL). HDL also contain a protein called apolipoprotein (apo) A-I. High levels of both HDL cholesterol and apo A-I protect against heart disease. We have measured these parameters in 1584 men and 1639 women participating in the Framingham Offspring Study. Our results show that only 3.8% of women had low levels of HDL cholesterol, compared to 18.2% of men. A similar percentage (14%) of subjects (both men and women) within this category with low HDL cholesterol had heart disease. High levels of HDL cholesterol were noted in 11.7% of men and 39.3% of women. The prevalence of heart disease in those subjects with high HDL was very low (only 2% of men and women). Reduced body weight, increased alcohol consumption, and low triglyceride levels were associated with increased HDL cholesterol and apo A-I levels in this population.
Technical Abstract: A decreased high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level (<35 mg/dl) has been shown to be a significant independent risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD). Moreover, increased HDL cholesterol levels (>/= 60 mg/dl) are associated with a decreased CHD risk. Levels of HDL cholesterol and apoA-I, the major protein constituent of HDL, were measured in plasma from fasting participants in the Framingham Offspring Study (1,584 men and 1,639 women, mean age 49+/-10 years). In this population, and HDL cholesterol value <35 mg/dl was observed in 18.2% of men and 3.8% of women, and these subjects had mean apoA-I levels of 104 and 106 mg/dl, respectively, and triglyceride levels of 234 and 261 mg/dl, respectively. CHD was observed in 14.2% of men and 14.5% of women in this category. An HDL cholesterol level >/=60 mg/dl was observed in 11.7% of men and 39.3% of women, and these subjects had mean apoA-I levels of 182 and 185 mg/dl, respectively, and mean triglyceride levels of 81 and 75 mg/dl, respectively. CHD was noted in 2.7% of men and 1.9% of women in this category. HDL cholesterol levels were much more strongly related to triglycerides (r= -0.54 in men and -0.47 in women) than was apoA-I (r= -0.26 in men and -0.13 in women). The relationship between plasma HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels was not linear. In both men and women, triglycerides, body mass index (BMI), and alcohol intake contributed significantly to HDL cholesterol and apoA-I variability.