Tracking of plasma lipids and lipoproteins, within-person and year-to-year variability in plasma cholesterol levels among participants from age 8 to 18 in Project HeartBeat!
Coronary heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States and increased blood cholesterol level has been found to be a major risk factor with roots in childhood. Tracking of cholesterol, i.e., the tendency to maintain a particular cholesterol level relative to the rest of the population, and variability in blood lipid levels with increase in age have implications for cholesterol screening and assessment of lipid levels in children for possible prevention of further rise to prevent adulthood heart disease. In this study the pattern of change in plasma lipids, over time, and their tracking were investigated. Also, within-person variance and retest reliability defined as the square root of within-person variance for plasma total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides and their relation to age, sex and body mass index among participants from age 8 to 18 years were investigated. In Project HeartBeat!, 678 healthy children aged 8, 11 and 14 years at baseline were enrolled and examined at 4-monthly intervals for up to 4 years. We examined the relationship between repeated observations by Pearson's correlations. Age- and sex-specific quintiles were calculated and the probability of participants to remain in the uppermost quintile of their respective distribution was evaluated with life table methods. Plasma total cholesterol, HDL-C and LDL-C at baseline were strongly and significantly correlated with measurements at subsequent visits across the sex and age groups. Plasma triglyceride at baseline was also significantly correlated with subsequent measurements but less strongly than was the case for other plasma lipids. The probability to remain in the upper quintile was also high (60 to 70%) for plasma total cholesterol, HDL-C and LDL-C. We used a mixed longitudinal, or synthetic cohort design with continuous observations from age 8 to 18 years to estimate within person variance of plasma total cholesterol, HDL-C, LDL-C and triglycerides. A total of 5809 measurements were available for both cholesterol and triglycerides. A multilevel linear model was used. Within-person variance among repeated measures over up to four years of follow-up was estimated for total cholesterol, HDL-C, LDL-C and triglycerides separately. The relationship of within-person and inter-individual variance with age, sex, and body mass index was evaluated. Likelihood ratio tests were conducted by calculating the deviation of −2log (likelihood) within the basic model and alternative models. The square root of within-person variance provided the retest reliability (within person standard deviation) for plasma total cholesterol, HDL-C, LDL-C and triglycerides. We found 13.6 percent retest reliability for plasma cholesterol, 6.1 percent for HDL-cholesterol, 11.9 percent for LDL-cholesterol and 32.4 percent for triglycerides. Retest reliability of plasma lipids was significantly related with age and body mass index. It increased with increase in body mass index and age. These findings have implications for screening guidelines, as participants in the uppermost quintile tended to maintain their status in each of the age groups during a four-year follow-up. The magnitude of within-person variability of plasma lipids influences the ability to classify children into risk categories recommended by the National Cholesterol Education Program.
Public health|Cellular biology
Shah, Syed Mahboob Ali, "Tracking of plasma lipids and lipoproteins, within-person and year-to-year variability in plasma cholesterol levels among participants from age 8 to 18 in Project HeartBeat!" (2001). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3027653.