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Can J Cardiol. 1999 Apr;15(4):434-44.

Plasma lipids and lipoprotein reference values, and the prevalence of dyslipoproteinemia in Canadian adults. Canadian Heart Health Surveys Research Group.

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  • 1Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.



To report reference values for plasma lipids and lipoproteins in Canadian adults and the prevalence in the population of various levels of risk for coronary artery disease from dyslipoproteinemia.


Population- based provincial heart health cross-sectional surveys in 10 provinces between 1986 and 1992 invited 29,855 men and women aged 18 to 74 years to participate. During a clinic visit after a home interview a blood sample was obtained following a fast of 8 h or more from 18,555 people. Plasma lipid levels were determined at the J Alick Little Lipid Research Laboratory, Toronto, with standardization of the Centers for Disease Control Lipid Standardization Program, Atlanta.


Fasting plasma total cholesterol, triglyceride, low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and non-HDL-C levels.


Mean plasma total cholesterol, LDL-C, non-HDL-C and triglyceride levels increased with age in men to a peak at around age 54 years, while in women the increases were more gradual at a lower level until age 54 years, after which they increased appreciably eventually exceeding values for men. A high percentage of adults were at increased risk for coronary artery disease: 44% had elevated total cholesterol levels above 5.2 mmol/L; 14% had LDL-C levels above 4.1 mmol/L; 8% had HDL-C values below 0.9 mmol/L; and 14% had triglyceride levels above 2.3 mmol/L. Eleven per cent of adults had both total cholesterol level above 6.2 mmol/L and LDL-C level above 4.1 mmol/L.


The high prevalence of Canadian adults at risk because of elevated plasma lipid levels strongly indicates the need for comprehensive public health programs to reduce plasma lipid levels in the population and the need to encourage physicians to treat those at high risk.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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