Geographic origin of the family as a determinant of serum levels of lipids in Finnish children.
Children in the eastern part of Finland have higher serum total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels than children in the western part of the country. This is consonant with the high mortality rate for coronary heart disease in eastern Finland. Eastern and western Finns are assumed to have different geographic origins; because of this we divided into groups 630 newborns and 3554 children and adolescents according to their grandparents' birthplace, which, in Finland, reflect the origins of the children. No differences in serum lipid levels were found in the newborns but in the 3- to 18-year-old children the differences in mean serum total and LDL cholesterol levels were accentuated by this division. Boys with grandparents from the extreme eastern part and those with grandparents from the western part of the country showed the greatest differences. Prepubescent boys 3 to 12 years old living in the west but with grandparents from the east had total and LDL cholesterol levels similar to those of boys living in and descended of grandparents from the east, despite their diet being of the western type. Thus, although diet is known to be a major determinant of serum cholesterol level, genetic factors also seem to play a role.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association