Gender Difference in the Level of HDL Cholesterol in Korean Adults

Hye Jin Kim, Hyun Ah Park, Young Gyu Cho, Jae Heon Kang, Kyoung Woo Kim, Joo Ho Kang, Nu-Ri Kim, Won-Chin Chung, Cheol Hwan Kim, Dong Hee Whang, Jin Kyun Park
Korean Journal of Family Medicine 2011, 32 (3): 173-81

BACKGROUND: High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level varies with ethnicity and gender. In Korea there has not been an agreement on standards for HDL cholesterol level. Therefore, in order to establish a foundation for research on HDL cholesterol, we investigated the gender difference in HDL cholesterol level after adjusting associated factors.

METHODS: The study population included 4,465 individuals (1,833 men, 2,632 women) representing 33,502,918 Koreans 20 years of age or older, who participated in the 2005 Korean National Health and Nutrition Survey. After stratifying by gender, we analyzed the HDL cholesterol level according to the general characteristics of the study population. Then we identified independent factors associated with HDL cholesterol level. After adjusting for covariates, we estimated the gender difference in HDL cholesterol level.

RESULTS: We demonstrated that age, current smoking, body mass index, alcohol intake, triglyceride and low density lipoprotein cholesterol level have significant impact on HDL cholesterol level. In addition, educational status was also an important factor for men, while fat intake was a significant factor for women. After adjusting associated factors, the means (standard errors) of HDL cholesterol level were 43.8 (0.2) mg/dL in men and 46.3 (0.2) mg/dL in women, respectively.

CONCLUSION: The mean gender difference in HDL level (2.5 mg/dL) in Korean adults was, therefore, less than those observed in previous western studies.

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