To determine whether the lower rates of heart disease in Taiwan than in the United States could be related to associations between plasma lipoproteins and dietary intake, we assessed these indexes in 423 adults in Taipei matched with 420 adults in Framingham, MA. Concentrations of LDL cholesterol were 14% lower, HDL cholesterol 9% higher, and LDL cholesterol: HDL cholesterol 27% lower in Taipei than in Framingham. Dietary intakes of total fat (34%), saturated fatty acids, and cholesterol (338 mg) were, respectively, 16%, 41%, and 19% lower in Taipei men, whereas polyunsaturated fatty acid intake was 89% higher than in Framingham men. Similar differences were seen for women except for total fat and cholesterol intakes, which were similar. From stepwise analyses of all subjects, we observed significant associations of lower LDL cholesterol: HDL cholesterol with higher polyunsaturated fatty acid intakes and lower body mass indexes in both men and women. Our data indicate that the more favorable lipoprotein profiles observed in Taipei subjects may be partly due to differences in type of dietary fat consumption as well as in body mass index.
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