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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1987 Sep; 84(17): 6259–6261.
PMCID: PMC299050

Individual variation in serum cholesterol levels.


The intraindividual variances in serum/plasma cholesterol levels from a variety of sources have been examined. It is apparent that these are very substantial with mean coefficients of variation usually between 5% and 10%, even when the diet is controlled in metabolic studies. Some subjects show extreme variability from one blood sample to the next. Thus, it is very difficult to assess the degree of risk of individuals according to the guidelines provided by the Consensus Conference on lowering blood cholesterol levels to prevent heart disease, and many individuals will be misclassified unless particular attention is paid to this problem.

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