Cholesterol levels rise, fall with changing seasons
Cholesterol levels seem to fluctuate significantly with the turning seasons, which may leave some people with borderline high cholesterol at greater cardiovascular risk during the winter months, according to research being presented at the American College of Cardiology's 62nd Annual Scientific Session.
While prior studies have shown that heart attacks and heart-related deaths increase during the winter months, researchers in Brazil were interested in finding out whether the prevalence of high cholesterol—a well-known cardiovascular risk factor—might follow a similar pattern.
"People should be aware that their cholesterol and triglyceride levels vary significantly year-round, which in some cases, may lead to a misinterpretation of a person's actual cardiovascular risk," said Filipe Moura, MD, a PhD student at the State University of Campinas, Brazil and the study's lead investigator. "This should especially concern those who are near the upper cholesterol limit as they may be at higher risk than expected. This is not to say these patients should have check-ups all the time, but we do have to keep a close eye on them and know seasonal variation may play a role."
Researchers prospectively evaluated the lipid profiles of 227,359 individuals who had health check-ups in primary care centers in the city of Campinas, Brazil, between 2008 and 2010. In this analysis—the largest study to date to evaluate cholesterol levels by season—data reveal that low density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol increased an average of 7mg/dL during the winter compared to summer. Researchers say this moderate, but significant, increase in LDL cholesterol was enough to result in an 8 percent overall increase in the prevalence of high cholesterol during the winter. The variation in the maximum and minimum cholesterol measures were 7±2 mg/dL for LDL-C, 3.4±0.3 mg/dL for HDL and 12±9 mg/dL for triglycerides. While the rise in LDL was more pronounced in women and middle-aged people, Dr. Moura said this is most likely due to the larger sample size in these categories after stratification by sex and age.
Cholesterol levels during the summer months painted a very different picture, with higher levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), the "good" cholesterol, and triglycerides, which were respectively 9 percent and 5 percent more prevalent. Dr. Moura said researchers were surprised by these findings because they contradict what previous, smaller studies have found. One possible explanation is that this study is the first to take place in a tropical climate. Campinas is situated 1,821-2,559 feet above sea level and has mild, dry winters.
Still, Dr. Moura said, these fluctuations may be even more pronounced in the United States, Europe or other regions that experience more extreme climate shifts in winter and summer. Along with the environmental changes of each season also come alterations in exercise and dietary habits that can influence cholesterol levels. For example, people tend to exercise less and consume a greater number of calories and fatty foods in the winter. The shorter days of winter also mean less sun exposure and subsequently lower concentrations of vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to improve the ratio of bad to good cholesterol.
"The change in climate and behavior that follows each season can have an effect on lipid metabolism and possibly even heart health," Dr. Moura said. "However, in order to make this link more research is needed."
As a next step, Dr. Moura and his team plan to look at patients who already had heart disease. They will evaluate a prospective cohort of patients in the Brasilia Heart Study who present with heart attack to see whether there is seasonal variation of lipid profile upon hospital admission.
More information: Dr. Moura will present the study "Seasonal Variation of Lipid Profile and Prevalence of Dyslipidemia: A Large Population Study" on Saturday, March 9 at 10:00 a.m., in Moscone Center, Expo North.
Provided by American College of Cardiology
- Most heart attack patients' cholesterol levels did not indicate cardiac risk Jan 12, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Potential breast cancer prevention agent found to lower levels of 'good' cholesterol over time Dec 09, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- High levels of cholesterol said better for longevity Sep 16, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Cholesterol levels improving among US adults Oct 16, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Low HDL cholesterol from gene variation not associated with increased risk of ischemic heart disease Jun 03, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
The idea behind a reverse shock
1 hour ago So in a supernova explosion for example (5th slide) http://www.astro.princeton.edu/~burrows/classes/541/blastwavesChisari.pdf Ambient medium is...
Guass's Law for a charge distribution
1 hour ago First, this is not a homework question, just something I've been confused about for some time. I understand how to use Guass's law in many ways but...
2 hours ago Hello :) i'm new to this forum, so excuse me for my straightforwardness ;) I'm working on my bachelor work and i can't find a solution. I'm writing...
siphon and bernouli theorum
3 hours ago 1. I found this diagram on book but there weren't any description.can someone tell me, what its trying to tell specially by those two red lines...
Hot gas expansion rate into outer space
3 hours ago Good Morning Sirs, it seems to be surprisingly hard to get the numbers of a mystery: How fast expand hot rocket exhaust gases into empty space? ...
Magnetic field lines through copper
9 hours ago Hello. Assume an electron gun, as in CRT, made of plumbing copper instead of glass. Using magnetic scanning coils to move electron beam. Will the...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
Heart failure accelerates the aging process and brings on early andropausal syndrome (AS), according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. AS, also referred to as male 'menopause', was four times ...
Cardiology 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
Mortality and length of stay are highest in heart failure patients admitted in January, on Friday, and overnight, according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. The analysis of nearly 1 million ...
Cardiology 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Coenzyme Q10 decreases all cause mortality by half, according to the results of a multicentre randomised double blind trial presented today at Heart Failure 2013 congress. It is the first drug to improve heart failure mortality ...
Cardiology 6 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 4
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is effective and safe in Asian patients, according to early experience based on first results from a multicentre Asian registry reported at EuroPCR 2013.
Cardiology May 24, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Routinely measuring fractional flow reserve (FFR) using pressure wire assessment during coronary angiography for diagnosis of chest pain leads to significant changes in the management of one in four patients, according to ...
Cardiology May 24, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—Department of Justice lawyers have again asked a federal appeals court in New York to delay lifting age restrictions and prescription requirements on an emergency contraceptive popularly known as the morning-after ...
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Two mutations central to the development of infantile myofibromatosis (IM)—a disorder characterized by multiple tumors involving the skin, bone, and soft tissue—may provide new therapeutic targets, according to researchers ...
23 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Talking on a hands-free device while behind the wheel can lead to a sharp increase in errors that could imperil other drivers on the road, according to new research from the University of Alberta.
22 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Kate O'Reilly's spring allergy survival kit includes the usual stuff - nasal sprays, allergy pills and a box of tissues. This season, she's added a new weapon to her line of defense: an app on her smartphone.
23 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—A research team, led by Jeremy Barr, a biology post-doctoral fellow, unveils a new immune system that protects humans and animals from infection.
May 20, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (30) | 9 |
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
May 24, 2013 | 4 / 5 (4) | 4 |