This study examines the prevalence of abnormal low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels in young adults to determine the ability of National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel (ATP) guidelines to identify persons with elevated LDL cholesterol, to compare other algorithms with those of the ATP, and to determine the contributions of race, gender, and other coronary artery disease risk factors to identifying patients with elevated LDL and low HDL cholesterol. The cohort was population-based, aged 23 to 35 years, and included relatively equal numbers of blacks and whites, and men and women. The prevalence of LDL cholesterol ≤160 mg/dl (>4.1 mmol/L) was 5% in black women, 4% in white women, 10% in black men, and 9% in white men. ATP identified most participants with elevated LDL cholesterol (range: 58.8% of white men to 70.7% of black women). Lipoprotein panels would have been required in 6% to 7% of women and to 15% to 18% of men. Algorithms that used nonlipid risk factors required more lipoprotein panels and identified fewer additional participants at risk. The prevalence of HDL cholesterol <35 mg/dl (0.9 mmol/L) was 3% in women, 7% in black men, and 13% in white men. Algorithms that used nonlipid risk factors before measuring HDL cholesterol would require HDL cholesterol measurements in 35% of whites and 56% of blacks, but reduced sensitivity for identifying low HDL cholesterol (range: 58% in white men to 93% in black women). In young adults, algorithms based on nonlipid risk factors and family history have lower sensitivity, and increase rather than decrease the number of fasting lipoprotein panels required when compared with ATP levels.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine