Osong Public Health Res Perspect.  2011 Sep;2(2):94-103. 10.1016/j.phrp.2011.07.006.

Increased Prevalence of low High-density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL-C) Levels in Korean Adults: Analysis of the Three Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (KNHANES 1998–2005)

  • 1Division of Epidemic Intelligence Service, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Osong, Korea
  • 2Division of Cardiovascular and Rare Diseases, Korea National Institute of Health, Osong, Korea


High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases that has shown a remarkable increase, but little is known about the prevalence of low HDL-C in Korea. This study aimed to evaluate changing trends of low HDL-C prevalence, and indicate other risk factors associated with low HDL-C.
We selected subjects aged ≥20 years from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 1998, 2001, and 2005 (n = 7962, 6436, and 6412). The mean level of HDL-C and the prevalence of low HDL-C was calculated, and cardiovascular risk factors associated with low HDL-C, as well as demographic, anthropometric, lifestyle, and nutrition factors, were assessed using the KNHANES 2005 data.
Mean HDL-C levels in men and women between KNHANES 1998 and 2005 decreased significantly, from 48.1 to 42.3 and from 51.6 to 47.1 mg/dL, respectively (both p < 0.001). The decrease was slightly less for women compared with men for the same period, and women had higher HDL-C levels at all periods. Covariate-adjusted OR revealed that body mass index, waist circumference, and non-alcohol drinker in both men and women were associated with low HDL-C levels by KNHANES 2005, as were employed and light physical activity in men and low fat intake in women.
The prevalence of low HDL-C increased significantly from KNHANES 1998 to 2001 and 2005 (p < 0.001) in both men and women. body mass index, waist circumference, and non-alcohol drinker were identified as associated with low HDL-C in Korean adults.


cardiovascular disease; low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C); risk factors
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