Predictors of falling cholesterol levels in older adults: The cardiovascular health study

Teri A. Manolio, Mary Cushman, John S. Gottdiener, Adrian Dobs, Lewis H. Kuller, Richard A. Kronmal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose To estimate 4-year change in serum total cholesterol levels in a population-based sample of older adults and identify independent predictors of cholesterol decline. Methods Prospective study of 2837 adults aged 65 years and older with serum cholesterol measured in 1992-1993 and 1996-1997. Results Mean serum cholesterol levels declined 6.3 mg/dl between the two examinations. Declines were greater in white (-7.3 mg/dl) than black (-1.4 mg/dl) participants and in those in good/excellent health (-0.9 mg/dl) vs. fair/poor health (-3.1 mg/dl; both p < 0.01). Factors associated with greater decline on multivariate analysis included age, male gender, and higher white cell count, albumin, and baseline cholesterol. Cholesterol levels declined 2.0 mg/dl per 6 year increment in baseline age and 6.8 mg/dl more in men than women after adjustment for other factors. C-reactive protein levels were unrelated to cholesterol change. Conclusion Declining cholesterol levels were associated with male gender, advanced age, weight loss, and white blood cell count but not with C-reactive protein levels. The role of declining cholesterol synthesis, due to as yet undefined age-related changes or to cytokine-mediated reductions related to illness, should be examined to help clarify the mechanisms of the sometimes marked declines in cholesterol levels observed at advanced ages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-331
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of epidemiology
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2004

Keywords

  • Aged
  • CHS
  • CVD
  • Cardiovascular Health Study
  • Cholesterol
  • ECG
  • Epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • cardiovascular disease
  • electrocardiogram

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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