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J Pediatr. 2011 Feb;158(2):201-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.07.050. Epub 2010 Sep 9.

Non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration is associated with the metabolic syndrome among US youth aged 12-19 years.

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Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.



To test the hypothesis that the concentration of non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) is associated with the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in youth.


Data on children and adolescents aged 12-19 years (n = 2734) from the cross-sectional National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2004 were analyzed.


Depending on the definition of MetS used, the mean non-HDL-C concentration among youth with MetS ranged from 144.2 to 155.8 mg/dL, compared with 108.8-109.1 mg/dL in those without MetS (all P < .001). The MetS prevalence ranged from 6.9% to 11.7% in youth with a non-HDL-C concentration of 120-144 mg/dL and from 21.5% to 23.4% in those with a concentration ≥ 145 mg/dL-both significantly higher than the prevalence of 1.9%-3.4% in youth with a concentration <120 mg/dL (all P < .001). After adjustment for potential confounders, youth with a non-HDL-C concentration ≥ 120 mg/dL or ≥ 145 mg/dL were about 3 or 4 times more likely to have MetS compared with those with a non-HDL-C <120 mg/dL or <145 mg/dL (all P < .001).


Fasting non-HDL-C concentration was strongly associated with MetS in US youth. Our results support the use of non-HDL-C thresholds of 120 mg/dL and 145 mg/dL to indicate borderline and high MetS risk, respectively.

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