HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) levels are inversely related to coronary heart disease (CHD) risk, and HDL-C distributions vary among countries. Poland is one of the few developed countries in which CHD rates are increasing at the same time that US rates have been falling, but whether these differences are explained by differences in risk factors such as HDL-C has not been determined. To examine this possibility, levels of HDL-C and its subtractions were compared in US and Polish urban and rural men and women aged 45 to 64 years. Age-adjusted HDL-C means were 0.20 mmol/L higher in urban Polish men and 0.37 mmol/L higher in rural Polish men than in their US counterparts (P<.0001); means in urban Polish women were 0.06 mmol/L higher (P<.05) and in rural Polish women 0.09 mmol/L higher (P<.001) than in their US counterparts. Adjustment for age, education, alcohol intake, smoking, BMI, heart rate, and menopause status (in women) had little effect on differences. Means of HDL2 and HDL3 levels showed similar between-country differences, although differences were minimal for HDL2 in urban men and women, and HDL3 means did not differ between rural women. BMI was inversely related to HDL-C and both subfractions in all gender-country-site strata (P<.001), and alcohol was directly related to HDL-C (P<.001) in all strata except Polish women. Cigarette smoking was negatively related to HDL-C and both subtractions in all US samples except HDL2 in urban men, whereas in Polish samples, significant associations were found only in urban women for HDL-C and in rural and urban women for HDL3. Age, heart rate, and education showed inconsistent or no association with HDL-C and its subfractions in either country. This profile of HDL-C and its subfractions in Polish samples contrasts sharply with the opposite trend in CHD mortality rates, which suggests either that other risk factors may account for the trends or that the relationship between HDL-C and CHD may differ between the two countries.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1996|
- Cardiovascular disease
- HDL cholesterol
- United states