Serial Changes in Body Composition Throughout Adulthood and Their Relationships to Changes in Lipid and Lipoprotein Levels: The Fels Longitudinal Study

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Abstract

Few studies have examined the relationships between measures of body composition and lipid and lipoprotein levels in long-term serial data from individuals unselected for cardiovascular disease- or obesity-related variables, and none have considered such extensive serial data as used in the current study. The aim was to examine in such individuals the associations between annual changes in lipid and lipoprotein levels and concurrent changes in total body fat, fat-free mass, percent body fat, and body mass index. Serial data from 1304 examinations of 423 adult white participants in the Fels Longitudinal Study were analyzed sex-specifically in 2 age groups, 18 through 44 years and 45 to 65 years. A regressive analytic approach utilized the long-term (4 to 20 years) serial data of individuals. Annual changes in adiposity, independent of levels of lean tissue changes, before and after age 45 for men and women were significantly correlated with corresponding annual changes in cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol. In men before age 45, changes in triglycerides and high density lipoprotein cholesterol were also significantly associated with changes in adiposity, with the relationship remaining after age 45 in high density lipoprotein cholesterol. Increases in adiposity in individuals are associated with changes in lipid and lipoprotein levels in the direction of increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Adult levels of total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol across age and sex and high density lipoprotein cholesterol in men are responsive to changes in adiposity, independent of initial adiposity or lipid and lipoprotein levels. (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1998;18:1759-1764.)

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