Serum high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels are inversely related to the risk of coronary heart disease. Controversy exists regarding the relative importance of HDL subfractions, and few studies have related subfraction levels to lifestyle factors associated with coronary risk. We examined the relationship of the major subfractions, HDL2 and HDL3, to alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, physical exercise, body mass index, and socioeconomic status in 88 men and 49 women aged 35-64 years. Body mass index was inversely related to HDL2-cholesterol (C), particularly in men, but had no significant relationship with HDL3-C. Cigarette smoking and degree of physical exercise were not significantly related to either HDL subfraction. Alcohol consumption had a strong positive correlation with HDL3-C in both sexes; this association was statistically significant after controlling for cigarette smoking, body mass index, and serum triglyceride. Minnesota-coded ECG abnormalities and positive responses to the WHO chest pain questionnaire were associated with lower levels of HDL-C and HDL2-C in both sexes, and significantly lowered levels of HDL3-C in men but not women. These findings suggest that HDL3-C, as well as HDL2-C, may be related to coronary risk, and indicate that the protective effects of alcohol consumption may be mediated via this subfraction.
- Coronary heart disease
- High density lipoprotein subfractions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine