Life-style factors do not explain racial differences in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol: The Minnesota heart survey

J. M. Sprafka, S. W. Norsted, A. R. Folsom, G. L. Burke, R. V. Luepker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

We analyzed data from a population-based survey to determine whether serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations are different in blacks and whites after controlling for life-style characteristics. We studied a total of 741 white men, 453 black men, 786 white women, and 572 black women ages 35–74 years. Age-adjusted HDL-C concentrations were higher in black than white men (48.6 vs 40.8 mg/dl) and in black than white women (56.1 vs 54.0 mg/dl). Life-style characteristics associated with HDL-C in women were exogenous hormone use, average number of cigarettes smoked per day, average ounces of alcohol consumed per week, body mass index, and use of beta-blockers. Life-style characteristics associated with HDL-C levels in men included age, average number of cigarettes smoked per day, average ounces of alcohol consumed per week, body mass index, and a self-reported history of diabetes. After adjustment for life-style characteristics, black men and women had HDL-C levels 7.0 and 5.3 mg/dl higher, respectively, than whites. Body mass index was a negative confounder in women; after adjusting for body mass and age, black women had HDL-C levels 4.6 mg/dl higher than white women. These data indicate that the measured life-style factors cannot fully explain the observed differences in HDL-C between blacks and whites. These findings, which are consistent with other reports, may reflect an inability to assess life-style factors accurately and/or genetic or cultural factors yet to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-163
Number of pages8
JournalEpidemiology
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1992

Keywords

  • Alcohol drinking
  • Blacks
  • Body mass
  • Coronary disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Drugs
  • Educational status
  • Exercise
  • Gender
  • HDL-cholesterol
  • Lipoproteins
  • Smoking
  • Whites

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