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Levels Of Total Cholesterol, LDL-C, Triglycerides Continue To Decline Among US Adults

Last updated Dec. 11, 2016

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD, MPH

In a study published online by JAMA Cardiology, Asher Rosinger, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Md., and colleagues examined whether earlier trends of a decline (between 1999 and 2010) in average levels of total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides, and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) continued.


In a study published online by JAMA Cardiology, Asher Rosinger, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Md., and colleagues examined whether earlier trends of a decline (between 1999 and 2010) in average levels of total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides, and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) continued.

Eight 2-year National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey cross-sectional cycles between 1999/2000 and 2013/2014 were analyzed for trends among adults 20 years or older. This study included 39,049 adults who had TC levels analyzed, and 17,486 and 17,096 who had triglyceride levels and LDL-C levels analyzed, respectively.

Age-adjusted average TC decreased between 1999/2000 (204 mg/dL) and 2013/2014 (189 mg/dL), with a 6-mg/dL drop between 2011/2012 and 2013/2014. Age-adjusted geometric average triglyceride levels decreased from 123 mg/dL in 1999/2000 to 97 mg/dL in 2013/2014, with a 13-mg/dL drop since 2011/2012. Average LDL-C levels decreased from 126 mg/dL to 111 mg/dL during the 8 survey cycles, with a 4-mg/dL drop between 2011/2012 and 2013/2014. Between 1999/2000 and 2013/2014, these decreasing trends were similar when stratified by lipid-lowering medications.

"Removal of trans-fatty acids in foods has been suggested as an explanation for the observed trends of triglycerides, LDL-C levels, and TC levels. With increased interest in triglycerides for cardiovascular health, the continued drop of triglycerides, LDL-C levels, and TC levels at a population level represents an important finding and may be contributing to declining death rates owing to coronary heart disease since 1999," the authors write.


Materials provided by The JAMA Network JournalsNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

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Primary Resource:

Cynthia Ogden, PhD, MRP et al. Trends in Total Cholesterol, Triglycerides, and Low-Density Lipoprotein in US Adults, 1999-2014JAMA Cardiology, November 2016 DOI: 10.1001/jamacardio.2016. 4396

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Dec. 11, 2016
Last updated: Dec. 11, 2016