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Arterioscler Thromb. 1993 Apr;13(4):495-504.

The low HDL cholesterol/high triglyceride trait.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Ohio 45267.


In 748 probands and 3,283 first-degree relatives from the Collaborative Lipid Research Clinics (LRC) Family Study, our specific aim was to examine the degree to which low (bottom decile) high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C, hypoalpha) and high (top decile) triglyceride (TG, hyperTG) levels occur conjointly (CT) and the extent to which these characteristics were shared within families. To control for family size and permit a comparison with the proband percentages, mean familial percentages of HDL-C/TG abnormalities were calculated. Concurrent low HDL-C and high TG levels were present in 2.7% of the probands, a value that was enriched to 12.7% (p = 0.003) of their associated first-degree relatives. If the proband had a low HDL-C value, 7.7% (p = 0.013) of relatives had CT. Familial (proband and at least one first-degree family member share the same lipoprotein/lipid phenotype) hypoalpha was observed in 2.4% of families while familial hyperTG was observed in 4.1%. Familial CT was seen in approximately 0.7%. If the proband had CT, 80% of their families had at least one other first-degree member with an HDL-C/TG abnormality, whereas the corresponding percentage for families associated with probands with only hypoalpha was 64% and for those with hyperTG alone, 54%. A broadly shared environmental factor cannot easily explain the familial association of hypoalpha, hyperTG, and CT. In probands with low HDL-C values alone or the conjoint low-HDL-C/high-TG trait, family screening is extremely valuable because low HDL-C/high TG is enriched in the respective family members, a conjoined trait closely associated with increased coronary heart disease risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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