Serum Cholesterol and Atherosclerosis in Man
Two hundred cases were selected from medicolegal autopsies for a study of the relationship of serum cholesterol to the amount and severity of atherosclerosis in the aorta and the coronary and cerebral arteries. A preliminary study of cholesterol before and after death in 20 cases showed a close parallel between the two when the sample of blood was taken within 16 hours of death.
The mean serum total cholesterol showed a tendency to rise from 122 mg. per cent ±16 in the first decade to 176 mg. per cent ±28 in the fifth decade. A statistically significant correlation was found between serum total cholesterol levels and age up to the fifth decade.
No correlation could be observed between the serum cholesterol level and the amount and severity of atherosclerosis in the arteries. When all the cases were divided into arbitrary groups according to the amount of atherosclerosis, a rise in the levels of mean serum total cholesterol was seen in the first six successive groups of aortic atherosclerosis. But when age was excluded from the correlation between atherosclerosis and serum cholesterol, the interrelationship between the two was found to be statistically insignificant.
- © 1961 American Heart Association, Inc.