Prognostic Value of Fasting Versus Nonfasting Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Levels on Long-Term MortalityCLINICAL PERSPECTIVE
Insight From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III (NHANES-III)
Background—National and international guidelines recommend fasting lipid panel measurement for risk stratification of patients for prevention of cardiovascular events. However, the prognostic value of fasting versus nonfasting low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is uncertain.
Methods and Results—Patients enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III (NHANES-III), a nationally representative cross-sectional survey performed from 1988 to 1994, were stratified on the basis of fasting status (≥8 or <8 hours) and followed for a mean of 14.0 (±0.22) years. Propensity score matching was used to assemble fasting and nonfasting cohorts with similar baseline characteristics. The risk of outcomes as a function of LDL-C and fasting status was assessed with the use of receiver operating characteristic curves and bootstrapping methods. The interaction between fasting status and LDL-C was assessed with Cox proportional hazards modeling. Primary outcome was all-cause mortality. Secondary outcome was cardiovascular mortality. One-to-one matching based on propensity score yielded 4299 pairs of fasting and nonfasting individuals. For the primary outcome, fasting LDL-C yielded prognostic value similar to that for nonfasting LDL-C (C statistic=0.59 [95% confidence interval, 0.57–0.61] versus 0.58 [95% confidence interval, 0.56–0.60]; P=0.73), and LDL-C by fasting status interaction term in the Cox proportional hazards model was not significant (Pinteraction=0.11). Similar results were seen for the secondary outcome (fasting versus nonfasting C statistic=0.62 [95% confidence interval, 0.60–0.66] versus 0.62 [95% confidence interval, 0.60–0.66]; P=0.96; Pinteraction=0.34).
Conclusions—Nonfasting LDL-C has prognostic value similar to that of fasting LDL-C. National and international agencies should consider reevaluating the recommendation that patients fast before obtaining a lipid panel.
- Received March 12, 2014.
- Accepted July 2, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.