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Atherosclerosis. 1989 Nov;80(1):63-8.

Plasma lipids and geriatric assessment in a very aged population of south Italy.

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Clinica Medica, Institute of Internal Medicine and Metabolic Disease, University of Naples, Italy.


A very old population of a rural area of Southern Italy with a mean age of 87 years was investigated in order to evaluate serum lipid levels and their possible association with health conditions, such as mental status, social behaviour and physical autonomy. Among 101 subjects with ages above 82 years, 73 were investigated (participation rate 72%, 31 men and 42 women). Mean +/- SD serum cholesterol level was 199 +/- 36 and 210 +/- 40 mg/dl and mean serum triglyceride level was 107 +/- 43 and 148 +/- 74 mg/dl (P less than 0.05) in men and women, respectively. Mean high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol level was 49 mg/dl in both sexes. All subjects were investigated by means of geriatric and neuropsychometric scales such as Sandoz Clinical Assessment Geriatric Scale (SCAGS), Hachinski Dementia Scale (HDS), Plutchik Geriatric Rating Scale (PGRS) and Indexes of Activity of Daily Living (ADL). When subjects were divided into 3 groups according to levels of serum lipids, HDL-cholesterol appeared to be better related to clinical conditions than total serum cholesterol: the group with the higher HDL-cholesterol level presented better scores at all the administered assessment scales when compared to the groups with lower and modal levels (P range between less than 0.05 and less than 0.001). Subjects in the higher serum cholesterol group presented better scores at PGRS only (P less than 0.01). No relation was observed between serum total triglyceride levels and geriatric assessment scores.

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