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Public Health Rep. 1994 Jan-Feb;109(1):93-8.

Cholesterol screening in a community health promotion program: epidemiologic results from a biracial population.

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  • 1American Health Foundation, New York, NY 10017.


The prevalence and interrelationship of high blood cholesterol levels with other cardiovascular disease risk factors were studied in a biracial suburb of New York City. Participants in community-based screenings to determine blood cholesterol levels have been predominantly white women in older age groups, highly educated and nonsmokers. To reach a more representative segment of a local population and promote healthy lifestyle behaviors, cholesterol screenings were conducted within an ongoing health promotion program in Mount Vernon, NY. Plasma cholesterol levels were determined for 5,011 participants, including 2,308 whites and 1,778 blacks. Of the men, 29 percent had high cholesterol levels; among women, it was 27 percent. Of the men with high levels, half had levels greater than 200 milligrams per deciliter, as did 55 percent of the women. After statistical adjustments were made for age and other risk factors for high blood cholesterol, mean cholesterol levels were higher for whites than blacks. The level for white men was 204 milligrams per deciliter; for women, 212. For black men, the level was 199 milligrams per deciliter; for women, 208, P < .10. Hispanic men had levels of 199, P < .10. The levels for Hispanic women (203 milligrams per deciliter) were significantly lower than that of white women. Among whites who smoked more than 1 pack of cigarettes per day, mean cholesterol levels were 11 milligrams per deciliter higher than for those who never smoked or were light smokers (0, 1-20 cigarettes per day, P < .10). There were too few who smoked more than 1 pack to test this association adequately among blacks. The mean cholesterol levels for hypertensive black men were 10 milligrams per deciliter greater than for black men with normal blood pressure (P<.10).

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