The Association of Plasma HDL-Cholesterol Levels with Dietary, Anthropometric, and Hematological Factors in Elderly Koreans

  • Park, Hee-Jung (Department Food & Nutrition, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Kim, Mi-Hyun (Department Food & Nutrition, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Lee, Hyun-Sook (Department Food & Nutrition, Hanyang Women's College) ;
  • Cho, Mi-Sook (Department Food & Nutrition, Baewha Women's College) ;
  • Park, Ji-Hye (Department Food & Nutrition, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Kim, Wha-Young (Department Food & Nutrition, Ewha Woman's University)
  • Published : 2003.11.01


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the most common causes of death in elderly Koreans, and HDL-cholesterol is known to have a pivotal role in protecting against CVD. This study was undertaken to study the relationships between plasma HDL-cholesterol levels and dietary, anthropometric, and biochemical factors in elderly Koreans. The 102 subjects, who were over 60 years old, were classified into two groups based on their plasma HDL-cholesterol levels: a risk group with plasma HDL-cholesterol < 40mg/dl in men or HDL-cholesterol < 50mg/d1 in women, and a control group with higher HDL-cholesterol levels. The subjects' mean intakes of energy, calcium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin $B_2$, vitamin E, and folate did not meet the Korean RDA for elderly people. Vitamin $B_2$ and folate intakes were significantly lower (p<0.l) in the risk group compared to the control group. The consumption of seaweed was significantly lower (p<0.05), and fish intake was 33% lower, in the risk group compared to the control group. Subjects in the risk group showed a higher BMI, waist/hip ratio, triceps skinfold thickness, and % body fat, compared to control subjects. Plasma triglyceride levels and values of the atherogenic index were significantly higher (p<0.00l) in risk group subjects. Significant negative correlations between HDL-cholesterol level and plasma triglyceride level (r= 0.37), and values of the atherogenic index (r=-0.74), were found. In summary, subjects with low levels of HDL-cholesterol were found to have relatively low intakes of vitamin B$_2$, folate, and seaweed, and higher levels of the CVD risk factors: body fat, plasma TG, and AI. These results suggest that plasma HDL-cholesterol levels can be modified by dietary, anthropometric, and hematological means.