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Arterioscler Thromb. 1992 Dec;12(12):1371-9.

Lipoprotein profile of a Greenland Inuit population. Influence of anthropometric variables, Apo E and A4 polymorphism, and lifestyle.

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Gaubius Laboratory IVVO-TNO, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Previously it has been reported that Greenland Inuit (Eskimos) from the Uummannaq district display low levels of plasma cholesterol and triglycerides and relatively high levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) when compared with healthy Danish control subjects (Lancet 1971;1:1143-1146). Here we present data obtained in 1989 that show the following. In a group of 133 healthy adult Greenland Inuit from Nanortalik, the levels of plasma cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (6.39 and 4.39 mmol/l, respectively) were slightly higher than "normal" values found in western societies, whereas the HDL cholesterol level was markedly higher (1.64 mmol/l). Compared with most Caucasian populations, the Inuit population we studied exhibits a high apolipoprotein (APO)E*4 allele frequency (0.229), whereas the APOE*2 allele frequency was extremely low (0.015). In contrast to Caucasian populations, in the Inuit population the apoE polymorphism showed only a minor influence on the plasma lipid and (apo)lipoprotein levels, as evaluated by multiple regression analysis, with the exception of apoE levels. This absence of an effect could be explained by the low very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) plus intermediate density lipoprotein (IDL) cholesterol levels. The contributions of eicosapentaenoic acid and linoleic acid to the total amount of fatty acids in plasma cholesterol esters differed markedly from those reported in 1971 for another Greenland Inuit population (3.2% versus 15.8% and 49.5% versus 20.4%, respectively), thereby resembling values now found in the average western population. Even in those Inuit who reported exclusive consumption of the traditional Inuit diet (13% of the population), the fatty acid composition of the plasma cholesterol esters closely resembled the values measured in western populations.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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