STUDY OBJECTIVE--The aim was to describe the distribution of lipids and apolipoproteins in the Chinese population in Hong Kong. DESIGN--This was a prospective, cross sectional, population based survey. SETTINGS--The study was conducted in a single, self referred, out patient screening centre. PARTICIPANTS--Altogether 825 Chinese adults aged > or = 20 years were screened. One hundred subjects who had previously had lipid measurement and 29 who were taking lipid modifying drugs were excluded but 289 men and 407 women remained for further analysis. MAIN RESULTS--Age standardised mean (SEM) lipids concentrations for Hong Kong Chinese were total cholesterol: men, 5.48 (0.05) mmol/l and women, 5.46 (0.06) mmol/l; triglycerides: men, 1.22 (1.03) mmol/l and women, 1.00 (1.03) mmol/l; high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol: men, 1.25 (0.02) mmol/l and women, 1.42 (0.02) mmol/l; low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol: men, 3.56 (0.05) mmol/l and women, 3.50 (0.06) mmol/l; apolipoprotein A-I (apo A-I): men, 1.34 (0.01) g/l and women, 1.46 (0.01) g/l; and apolipoprotein B (apo B): men, 1.15 (0.02) g/l and women, 1.06 (0.02) g/l. The total to HDL cholesterol ratios were men, 4.62 (0.07) and women, 4.10 (0.08); and apo B to apo A-I ratios (apo B/A) were men, 0.88 (0.02) and women, 0.75 (0.02). While levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, apo B, triglycerides, total/HDL cholesterol, and apo B/A were positively associated with age in both sexes and were higher in men before the age 50-59 years, they rose steeply thereafter in women to cross over the levels in men. In contrast, HDL cholesterol decreased with age while apo A-I remained constant, and both were consistently higher in women than in men in all age groups. CONCLUSIONS--Hong Kong Chinese have attained lipid profiles similar to those in other developed western populations. Environmental factors seem influential in this regard. Faced with the increasing coronary mortality of recent years, there should be a major effort to reduce the cholesterol concentrations in this population.
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