HDL cholesterol: Trends in two Southeastern New England communities, 1981-1993

Carol A. Derby, Henry A. Feldman, Linda L. Bausserman, Donna R. Parker, Kim M. Gans, Richard A. Carleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Although public health interventions have not specifically targeted high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, observed changes in the prevalence of other cardiovascular risk factors would be expected to have differential effects on HDL. This study examined secular trends in HDL in relation to changes in other cardiovascular risk factors for the years 1981 through 1993 in the Pawtucket Heart Health Program (PHHP) study communities. METHODS: Nonfasting HDL levels were assessed in 12,223 respondents to six biennial population random sample surveys. RESULTS: Between 1981 and 1993, mean HDL cholesterol declined by 0.08 mmol/L in both men and women after adjustment for age, city, education, hormone use, medications, recent alcohol use, smoking, regular exercise, body mass index (BMI), and total cholesterol, (p for trend < 0.001). There was no apparent laboratory explanation for the trend which occurred concurrent with decreased smoking prevalence, increasing BMI and decreased prevalence of recent alcohol use. Decreasing HDL cholesterol was observed consistently across subgroups defined by smoking, alcohol use and BMI. CONCLUSIONS: Although several favorable cardiovascular risk factor trends have been observed in recent decades, declining HDL cholesterol is also of interest, particularly in conjunction with population increases in BMI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-91
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Community Studies
  • HDL Cholesterol
  • Secular Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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