The relationship between very high levels of serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and cause-specific mortality in a 20-year follow-up study of japanese general population

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Aims: There is no community-based cohort study to examine the effect of very high level of highdensity lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) on coronary heart disease (CHD) and other cause-specific mortality. Therefore, we investigated the relationship between HDL-C including very high level and cause-specific mortality in a 20-year cohort study of the representative sample of Japanese. Methods: We followed 7,019 individuals from the Japanese general population (2,946 men and 4,073 women). We defined HDL-C levels as follow: low (HDL-C <1.04 mmol/L), reference (1.04-1.55 mmol/L), high (1.56- 2.06 mmol/L), very high (≥2.07 mmol/L). The multivariate adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for all-cause or cause-specific mortality was calculated using a Cox proportional hazards model adjusted for other traditional risk factors. Results: During follow-up, we observed 1,598 deaths. No significant association was observed between HDL-C and all-cause mortality. Serum HDL-C also showed no association with stroke. In contrast, the risk for CHD among high HDL-C was lower than reference, HRs were 0.51 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.21-1.23] in men, 0.33 (95% CI: 0.11-0.95) in women, and 0.41 (95% CI: 0.21 -0.81) when men and women were combined. However, very high HDL-C did not show significant association with CHD and other cause-specific mortality. Conclusions: HDL-C was not associated with all-cause and stroke mortality. In contrast, high serum HDL-C levels, at least up to 2.06 mmol/L, were protective against CHD, although further high levels were not. However, sample size of cause-specific death in very high HDL-C group was not enough even in this 20-year follow-up of 7,019 Japanese; larger cohort studies should be warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)800-809
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of atherosclerosis and thrombosis
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1



  • Cohort studies
  • High-density lipoprotein cholesterol
  • Mortality
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Biochemistry, medical

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