Serum Lipid Levels in Normal Persons
Findings of a Cooperative Study of Lipoproteins and Atherosclerosis
Measurements of Sf 12-20, Sf 20-100, and total serum cholesterol made on 10,690 men and 3,404 women are reported and the relation of lipid level to race, source, age, sex, blood pressure, and weight is described. Distributions for men 40 to 59 are reported in detail.
The groups studied, while not selected as representative of the population at large, were remarkably similar in their lipid levels. The lipid levels of only 2 of the 33 groups—Los Angeles and the prisoners—differed significantly from the average. No convincing explanation for either of these exceptions was discovered.
The data in this study were mainly from a white population. Data for nonwhites came primarily from 2 aberrant groups and were too meager to allow a clear characterization of lipid levels. The levels for nonwhites from these 2 sources were closer to those of the white members of these groups than to the levels of the general population.
Cholesterol levels for men and women were found to be about the same at age 20. For both sexes the level rises with age but at first the rise is much greater for men than women. Above age 50, however, the level is higher for women than men and the level for women continues to rise after that age—at least within the age series for this study. The level for men reaches a peak at age 55, after which it declines. The relation of age and sex with lipid level for Sf 12-20 and Sf 20-100 appeared to be similar to that for cholesterol.
Correlations of lipid levels with blood pressure and weight were positive but very low. Hypertension or obesity, however, is associated with some elevation of lipid levels.
Sf 20-100 was found to be the most sensitive of the 3 lipid measures to sex and race differences. In the age group 40 to 59 it was the only one that exhibited a definite race and sex differential. In addition, it had the highest correlation with weight and with blood pressure.
- © 1957 American Heart Association, Inc.