Research Article

Changes in plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration after weight reduction in grossly obese subjects.

Br Med J 1980; 281 doi: (Published 20 September 1980) Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;281:770
  1. D A Streja,
  2. E Boyko,
  3. S W Rabkin


    Changes in serum lipoproteins associated with weight loss were assessed in 13 grossly obese (relative weight 183%) patients who had participated in an outpatient semi-starvation diet consisting of liquid protein and carbohydrate. At the follow-up examination an average of six and a half months after the start of refeeding the mean weight loss was 16.1 +/- 4.5 kg or 15% of initial body weight. Significant increases in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol of 0.16 +/- 0.05 mmol/l (6 +/- 2 mg/100 ml) and decreases in triglycerides (0.8 +/- 0.23 mmol/l; 73 +/- 20 mg/100 ml) and fasting blood sugar (0.6 +/- 0.22 mmol/l; 11 +/- 4 mg/100 ml) were observed. Changes in HDL cholesterol correlated significantly with changes in weight (r = 0.667) and percentage change in weight. The intercept of the regression equation relating HDL cholesterol to percentage change in weight was -7.3, indicating that a change in HDL cholesterol greater than zero required a weight loss of at least 7.3% of body weight. Thus, weight loss can significantly increase HDL cholesterol concentrations but a considerable amount of weight must be lost to produce a significant increase in HDL cholesterol concentration.