We sought to determine whether lifestyle modifications are associated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) change in a cohort with long-term follow-up.
Changes in alcohol consumption, smoking, or body mass index (BMI) are associated with within-individual changes in HDL-C.
We selected 1420 men with ≥2 HDL-C measurements from the US Department of Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study (NAS). Changes in HDL-C (in milligrams/deciliter) over a 3-year period were calculated for each pair of exams. For each interval of HDL-C change, lifestyle exposures were categorized: participants maintained a stable BMI >25 kg/m2 (reference) or ≤25 kg/m2 since the previous exam, or increased or decreased BMI; participants were actively smoking at both exams (reference), nonsmokers at both exams, quit, or initiated smoking between exams; and participants maintained alcohol intake of <2 (reference) or ≥2 drinks daily since the previous exam, or increased or decreased alcohol intake. Longitudinal analysis was used to examine the relationship between the lifestyle change categories and 3-year change in HDL-C for each interval, adjusting for comorbidities, lipids, and cholesterol medication.
Participants were followed for approximately 14.3 years. Increases in HDL-C were associated with maintaining alcohol intake of ≥2 drinks daily (mean HDL-C increase, 0.86; P = 0.02), increasing alcohol intake from <2 to ≥2 drinks daily (mean, 2.53; P = 0.0003), and with maintaining a BMI of ≤25 kg/m2 (mean, 0.71; P = 0.04).
Increases in alcohol consumption, maintaining moderate alcohol intake, and maintaining BMI ≤25 kg/m2 were associated with significant 3-year increases in HDL-C. Clin. Cardiol. 2012 DOI: 10.1002/clc.21978
The VA NAS is sponsored by the Cooperative Studies Program/ERIC, US Department of Veterans Affairs. This research was also supported by a VA Merit Review and a VA Research Career Scientist award to Avron Spiro. The authors have no other funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.