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Am J Epidemiol. 1996 Jan 15;143(2):151-8.

Total and high density lipoprotein cholesterol as risk factors for coronary heart disease in elderly men during 5 years of follow-up. The Zutphen Elderly Study.

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  • 1Department of Chronic Diseases and Environmental Epidemiology, National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


The associations of serum total and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol with coronary heart disease were investigated in men aged 64-84 years from the Dutch town of Zutphen during 5 years of follow-up. In 1985, 885 randomly selected men, 710 of whom did not have a history of clinical coronary heart disease, participated in the study. Associations were adjusted for age, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, cigarette smoking, and alcohol consumption. Total cholesterol was not significantly associated with the incidence of coronary heart disease, but for mortality the relative risk corresponding to a 1.00 mmol/liter increase was 1.40 (95 percent confidence interval (CI) 1.07-1.83). HDL cholesterol was not associated with mortality from coronary heart disease. The relative risk for the incidence of the disease, corresponding to a 0.26 mmol/liter increase, was 0.80 (95 percent CI 0.60-1.08). For the ratio of HDL cholesterol to total cholesterol, the relative risk for coronary heart disease incidence corresponding to a 0.05 increase amounted to 0.70 (95 percent CI 0.51-0.95). These results show that in elderly men followed for 5 years, both total and HDL cholesterol are important in predicting coronary heart disease. Total cholesterol seems to be a stronger risk factor for mortality from the disease, whereas HDL cholesterol is more strongly associated with the incidence of a first coronary heart disease event.

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