Online Program

Prevalence of high cholesterol level by sociodemographic subgroups in a nationally representative sample of the United States

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Alain Pujolar, BA, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
WayWay Hlaing, MBBS, MS, PhD, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Tulay Koru-Sengul, MHS, PhD, Department of Public Health Sciences, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Background: High cholesterol level is a known risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Differences in high cholesterol level by gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, education, and poverty levels are evaluated.

Methods: Secondary data analysis using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2012 cycle (n=35,438) was performed accounting for the complex sampling design. Analysis was restricted to adults 20 years and older. High cholesterol was defined as having any of the following: total cholesterol ≥240mg/dL, HDL <40mg/dL, LDL ≥130mg/dL, or self-report of having been diagnosed by a physician. All variables were dichotomized (e.g., high cholesterol level yes vs. no). Weighted frequencies were calculated and a multivariable logistic regression model for having high cholesterol was fitted to estimate adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) using SAS v9.3.  

Results: Proportion of high cholesterol level increased from 8.6% (1999) to 10.2% (2012). High cholesterol prevalence was higher among males (69% vs. 61.8% females), Whites (67.5% vs. 55.9% non-Hispanic Blacks), widowed/divorced/separated (71.2% vs. 47.7% never married), people with less than high school education (67.4% vs. 64.0% college), and above national poverty level (66.2% vs. 59.8% below).  Majority of sample with diabetes (79.2%) and high-blood-pressure (72.9%) also have high cholesterol level. In the adjusted model (2ndgroup being a referent), significant differences in gender (male vs. female [AOR=1.35]:95%CI:1.26-1.44), ethnicity (Whites vs. non-Hispanic Blacks [1.59]:1.38-1.83), marital status (married/living with partner vs. never married [1.35]:1.23-1.48), diabetes ([1.16]:1.05-1.28) and high-blood-pressure ([1.32]:1.24-1.41) were found.

Conclusions: Prevalence of total cholesterol level varies between sociodemographic subgroups in the US population. Cholesterol screening and monitoring efforts should focus on these high risk subgroups in the future.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the magnitude of high cholesterol level in the US population. Identify the variations in high cholesterol risk across sociodemographic subgroups to discern the high-risk groups for future prevention programs.

Keyword(s): Epidemiology, Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an MSPH student, and this is part of my thesis topic.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.