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Oman Med J. 2012 Jul;27(4):274-80. doi: 10.5001/omj.2012.69.

Hypercholesterolemia among apparently healthy university students.

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  • 1Biotechnology Program, School of Graduate Studies, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain.



Hypercholesterolemia (HC) is a major risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease (CHD). Serum cholesterol is directly related to complications and mortalities associated with heart diseases. There are a few studies that describe HC among youths in the Arab Gulf countries. We sought to evaluate HC among young healthy university students to assess their risk of developing CHD.


Lipid profile of 166 students between the ages of 16-30 years (Mean: 20.49±2.96) were examined and blood glucose, total protein, albumin, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and the inflammation marker high sensitivity CRP (hsCRP) were determined. Each volunteer filled a questionnaire about her/his lifestyle and personal and family medical histories and height and weight were measured to determine body mass index (BMI). The data were analyzed using SPSS version 17. Chi-Square was used to determine the relation between categorical variables. A p-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.


According to the American Heart Association criteria, 44 (26.5%) students were identified with primary hypercholesterolemia (PHC) in the first testing round. After proper health counseling, the same tests were repeated after 2-3 weeks in all 44 hypercholesterolemic students. We found only 26 (15.6%) of them to be hypercholesterolemic. There was a significant relation between high total cholesterol (TC) and high TC/HDLC, as well as high or very high hsCRP and high TC/HDLC (both, p<0.001). Males tend to have higher TC/HDLC and hsCRP than females (both p0.002 and 0.005, respectively). Family history of CHD was found in 8 students and obesity was recorded in 5 volunteers.


The results necessitate further studies in determining the cause of PHC. We predict a genetic element contributing to the high percentage of PHC in the current study.


Coronary Heart Disease (CHD); Hypercholesterolemia; University Students; hsCRP

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