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Cholesterol levels vary by season, get worse in colder months
Date:3/27/2014

e changing seasons."

Researchers speculate the shorter days of winter and limited time spent outside also mean less sun exposure and, subsequently, lower concentrations of vitamin D, which has also been associated with the ratio of bad to good cholesterol.

In this cross-sectional study, researchers analyzed lipid profiles in more than 2.8 million consecutive U.S. adults who were referred for testing by their doctors from 2006 to 2013. Samples were categorized by the time of year when cholesterol was measured and comparisons were made across the seasons. The study also compared gender-stratified lipids and the prevalence of national guideline-based goal attainment for low density lipoprotein (LDL), non-high density lipoprotein (non-HDL) and high lipoprotein (HDL) by season.

Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol levels were all higher in the winter than in the summer. LDL and non-HDL cholesterol were 4 mg/dL higher in men and 2 mg/dL higher in women during the colder vs. warmer months a 3.5 percent and 1.7 percent increase, respectively. Non-HDL total cholesterol minus good HDL cholesterol is a more comprehensive marker of risk. Triglycerides were 2.5 percent higher in men during the winter compared with the summer. Women and men had variations in total cholesterol of approximately 2 mg/dL and 4 mg/dL, respectively, between the summer to winter. HDL did not vary much between seasons. Ratios of atherosclerotic risk were lowest in the spring and summer.

Attainment of National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III goal LDL-C and non-HDL-C was more prevalent in the summer compared to the winter, while HDL-C was lowest in the fall. Authors also found that while women had more favorable risk profiles overall, a lower percentage of women met the ATP III targets compared to men. The difference between average cholesterol values in the fall and winter were not statistically significant.

Researchers
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Contact: Beth Casteel
bcasteel@acc.org
202-375-6275
American College of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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