Background: In Spain the mortality rate due to cardiovascular disease (CVD) is relatively low compared to that of other developed countries. Until now few epidemiological studies have been performed among the global Spanish population to evaluate a relation between CVD risk factors and the lipid profile that could justify our privileged situation. For, this reason, the DRECE study was designed to know the situation at present in Spain respect to the risk of suffering from CVD in particular, the lipid profile.
Population and methods: This study included 4,787 subjects (2,324 males and 2,463 females) with an age ranging from 5-60 years, representative of the total Spanish population with these characteristics during the period from 1992 to 1994. Medical history was made for all participants, who also underwent a physical examination. The following parameters were determined: total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides, high-density lipoproteins cholesterol HDLc, cholesterol transported by low-density lipoproteins, LDLc (estimated by the Friedewald's formula), apolipoprotein AI and apoliprotein B (immunoturbidimetry).
Results: The results obtained and expressed in mean (SD) show that, although the population has total cholesterol concentrations (190.1 [42.4] and 192.8 [44.8] mg/dl for females and males, respectively) and LDLc (113.9 [37.9] and 117.5 [38.1] mg/dl for females and males, respectively) with values as high as those found in developed countries, the HDLc concentrations (58.6 [13.2] and 51.5 [13.4] mg/dl for women and men, respectively) are also increased and this could be the reason why the mortality rate in Spain caused by CVD is lower than in other countries.
Conclusions: The finding of high HDLc levels and their antiatherogenic role could justify that, at best in part, the rate mortality in Spain is lower than in other developed countries.