We compared the plasma lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride, apolipoprotein (apo) A-I, apoB, and lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] concentrations in a low coronary heart disease (CHD) risk population (n=440) in Taipei with a high CHD risk population (n=428) in Framingham matched for age, sex, and menopausal status. Taipei men had significantly lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (-20 mg/dL, -14%, P<.01) and apoB (-7 mg/dL, -6%, P<.05) levels and significantly higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels (6 mg/dL, 13%, P<.01) than Framingham men. Taipei women had significantly lower LDL-C (-18 mg/dL, -15%, P<.01) and higher HDL-C (4 mg/dL, 7%, P<.01) levels than Framingham women. Median concentrations and distributions of Lp(a) by sex were similar in Taipei and Framingham. After adjusting for body mass index and smoking status, only differences in total cholesterol and LDL-C levels remained significantly different for both sexes between the two populations (P<.01). Gender differences for lipids within populations were similar. After adjusting for age, body mass index, and smoking status, women in both Taipei and Framingham had significantly lower mean triglyceride, LDL-C, and apoB levels and significantly higher HDL-C and apoA-I levels than men. Postmenopausal women in Taipei had significantly higher mean total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C, apoA-I, apoB, and Lp(a) levels than premenopausal women (P<.05), whereas in Framingham postmenopausal women had significantly higher total cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL-C, and apoB levels than premenopausal women (P<.05). Our data are consistent with the concept that plasma lipoprotein cholesterol levels (especially LDL-C) but not apolipoprotein values explain some of the twofold difference in age-adjusted CHD mortality between these two populations.
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