The Christmas holidays are immediately followed by a period of hypercholesterolemia

15 Citationer (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and aims: We aimed to test the hypothesis that levels of total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol are increased after Christmas and that the risk of hypercholesterolemia is increased after the Christmas holidays. Methods: We conducted an observational study of 25,764 individuals from the Copenhagen General Population Study, Denmark, aged 20–100 years. Main outcome measures were mean total and LDL cholesterol levels. Hypercholesterolemia was defined as total cholesterol >5 mmol/L (>193 mg/dL) or LDL-cholesterol >3 mmol/L (>116 mg/dL). Results: Mean levels of total and LDL cholesterol increased in individuals examined in summer through December and January. Compared with individuals examined in May–June, those examined in December–January had 15% higher total cholesterol levels (p < 0.001). The corresponding value for LDL cholesterol was 20% (p < 0.001). Of the individuals attending the study during the first week of January, immediately after the Christmas holidays, 77% had LDL cholesterol above 3 mmol/L (116 mg/dL) and 89% had total cholesterol above 5 mmol/L (193 mg/dL). In individuals attending the Copenhagen General Population Study in the first week of January, the multivariable adjusted odds ratio of hypercholesterolemia was 6.0 (95% confidence interval 4.2–8.5) compared with individuals attending the study during the rest of the year. Conclusions: Celebrating Christmas is associated with higher levels of total and LDL cholesterol and a higher risk of hypercholesterolemia in individuals in the general population. Thus, a diagnosis of hypercholesterolemia should not be made around Christmas, and our results stress the need for re-testing such patients later and certainly prior to initiation of cholesterol-lowering treatment.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftAtherosclerosis
Vol/bind281
Sider (fra-til)121-127
Antal sider7
ISSN0021-9150
DOI
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2019

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