Serum cholesterol changes from 1983-1984 to 1993-1994 in the People's Republic of China
Li YH., Li Y., Davis CE., Chen Z., Tao S., Folsom AR., Bachorik P., Stamler J., Abernathy JR., Irving SH.
Background and Aim: Increasing cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in the People's Republic of China (PRC) led to the 1981 establishment of the PRC-USA Study of Cardiovascular and Cardiopulmonary Epidemiology which, among other objectives, is concerned with the correlates of CVD morbidity and mortality in Chinese populations among other objectives. This report describes changes in total cholesterol (TC) levels in four PRC populations from 1983 to 1993 and identifies factors related to the changes. Methods and Results: Population screenings carried out in 1983-1984, 1987-1988 and 1993-1994 involved the collection of demographic data, specimens (including blood), medical history and physical examination data. The data from cohort and independent samples were used to assess TC changes in urban and rural men and women over the decade, with and without adjustment for age and body mass index (BMI) changes. For Guangzhou men and women, the cohort analyses (aged 35-54 at baseline) showed increases in TC of 10-20 mg/dL after adjustment for age and changes in BMI; the independent sample analyses (aged 35-44) also showed higher average TC levels in 1993-1994 than in 1983-1984. For the Beijing cohorts, the results showed decreases in TC during the decade in men, an increase in TC in urban women and no change in rural women; the independent sample analyses indicated declines in TC for Beijing men and women. Possible reasons for the Guangzhou TC increases are economic growth, and dietary and BMI changes. The mean ageadjusted BMI significantly increased (5-10%) over the 10-year period in all of the studied groups. Conclusions: TC increased 10-20 mg/dL in Guangzhou men and women, probably as a result of socioeconomic development during the decade. The inconsistent patterns of TC changes in Beijing require further study.