Research Article

Concentrations of high density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol in ischaemic heart disease.

BMJ 1989; 298 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.298.6679.998 (Published 15 April 1989) Cite this as: BMJ 1989;298:998
  1. S. J. Pocock,
  2. A. G. Shaper,
  3. A. N. Phillips
  1. Department of Clinical Epidemiology and General Practice, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London.

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE--To assess the roles of serum concentrations of total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides in predicting major ischaemic heart disease. DESIGN--Men recruited for the British regional heart study followed up for a mean of 7.5 years. SETTING--General practices in 24 British towns. PATIENTS--7735 Middle aged men. END POINT--Predictive value of serum concentrations of lipids. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS--At initial screening serum concentrations of total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides were determined from non-fasting blood samples. Altogether 443 major ischaemic heart disease events (fatal and non-fatal) occurred during the study. Men in the highest fifth of the distribution of total cholesterol concentration (greater than or equal to 7.2 mmol/l) had 3.5 times the risk of ischaemic heart disease than did men in the lowest fifth (less than 5.5 mmol/l) after adjustment for high density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration and other risk factors. Men in the lowest fifth of high density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration (less than 0.93 mmol/l) had 2.0 times the risk of men in the highest fifth (greater than or equal to 1.33 mmol/l) after adjustment for total cholesterol concentration and other risk factors. Men in the highest fifth of triglyceride concentration (greater than or equal to 2.8 mmol/l) had only 1.3 times the risk of those in the lowest fifth (less than 1.08 mmol/l) after adjustment for total cholesterol concentration and other risk factors; additional adjustment for high density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration made the association with ischaemic heart disease disappear. CONCLUSIONS--Serum concentration of total cholesterol is the most important single blood lipid risk factor for ischaemic heart disease in men. High density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration is less important, and triglyceride concentrations do not have predictive importance once other risk factors have been taken into account.