Serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in 3,446 children from a biracial community: the Bogalusa Heart Study.
Serum lipid profiles of 3,446 (91% of population) children, ages 5-14 years, were determined in a biracial community (Bogalusa, Louisiana) as part of a program investigating the early natural history of atherosclerosis. Black children had significantly higher mean levels of serum cholesterol than white children (170 mg/dl vs 162 mg/dl, P less than 0.0001). On the other hand, significantly lower levels of triglycerides were found in blacks than in whites (61 mg/dl vs 73 mg/dl, P less than 0.0001). Girls had higher levels of triglycerides than boys in both races (blacks, 64 mg/dl vs 59 mg/dl, P less than 0.001; whites, 77 mg/dl vs 69 mg/dl, P less than 0.001). The racial differences in serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels were even more apparent at the 95th percentile. The serum cholesterol level remained relatively constant in all children until ages 11 and 12 years, after which a slight reduction occurred. This reduction was more pronounced in boys than in girls. In contrast, a significant increase in the level of triglycerides with age was observed in all children except black girls, the increasing slope being most pronounced in white girls.
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