Declining levels of total serum cholesterol in adult New Zealanders

C. Murray Skeaff, James I. Mann, Joanne McKenzie, Noela C. Wilson, David G. Russell, E. Ferguson

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Abstract

Aim. To measure the average serum concentration of total cholesterol and high density lipoprotein cholesterol in a representative sample of New Zealanders. Methods. Serum total and high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were measured in a representative sample of 1412 men and 1741 women aged 15 years or older who participated in the National Nutrition Survey (1997) of New Zealanders. Results. The average serum total cholesterol concentration in men was the same as in women (5.7 mmol/L); however, younger women (44 years and under) tended to have lower levels and older women (55 years and over) higher levels of total cholesterol than men. Women in all age groups had higher average levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol (1.4 mmol/L) than men (1.2 mmol/L). Ethnic differences were apparent with Maori men having significantly higher average levels of total cholesterol than their New Zealand European counterparts. Conclusions. Mean serum total cholesterol concentration in women has declined by 0.3 mmol/L from 6.0 mmol/L (p<0.05) since the previous representative survey of New Zealanders (Life in New Zealand Survey, 1989), but by only 0.1 mmol/L in men, despite a similar reduction amongst men and women in the proportion of dietary energy derived from total and saturated fat. It is possible that weight gain in men and women during the last nine years is having a differential effect oil serum cholesterol concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
JournalNew Zealand Medical Journal
Volume114
Issue number1128
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2001
Externally publishedYes

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