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Atherosclerosis. 1995 Dec;118(2):285-95.

Plasma lipid profiles and epidemiology of atherosclerotic diseases in Taiwan--a unique experience.

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Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, Academia Sinica, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei.


Rapid economic growth in Taiwan is accompanied by changing lifestyles, and the mortality pattern has switched from predominantly infectious diseases to chronic diseases. Age-adjusted mortality from heart disease has increased slowly but steadily. However, mortality from heart disease in Taiwan remains low compared with many other countries. Mortality from the cerebrovascular diseases has decreased gradually. Current age- and sex-specific values of blood cholesterol low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglyceride (TG) are, in general, higher than values in mainland China, but lower than those in the NHANES III and PROCAM studies. From 1950 to 1987, percent dietary fat increased from 16% to 36% in Taiwan. However, a high polyunsaturated fat/saturated fat (P/S) ratio (1.3) maintained during this period may in part explain the favorable blood lipid status and low mortality from heart disease. Data from prospective studies are scarce. In case-control studies carried out in Chinese, significantly higher values of TG, CHOL LDL-C, but lower high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels have often been found in coronary artery disease (CAD) patients than in controls. The percent differences in TG and HDL-C values (20%) were much greater than those of CHOL and LDL-C (3%). A few studies have identified the TG level as an independent risk factor for stroke and CAD in Taiwan, where a moderate to high fat diet with an advantageous P/S ratio is consumed.

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