Low-density lipoprotein subclass distribution pattern and adiposity-associated dyslipidemia in postmenopausal women

J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Feb;19(1):23-30. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2000.10718910.


Objective: A predominance of small, dense low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles (subclass pattern B) is associated with increased risk for coronary heart disease and is characterized by elevated triglycerides and depressed high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentrations. The present analysis was undertaken to assess the impact of LDL subclass distribution pattern and adiposity on serum lipids in postmenopausal women.

Methods: Anthropometric measurements and fasting lipid data were obtained from 254 postmenopausal women 70 years of age or younger, not receiving sex hormone replacement, who were participating in a clinical trial designed to assess the influence of hormone replacement regimens on coronary heart disease risk markers.

Results: The prevalence of LDL subclass pattern B was 32%. Triglyceride levels were higher and HDL cholesterol lower (both p<0.001) in women with pattern B vs. pattern A, but total and LDL cholesterol levels did not differ. LDL subclass pattern contributed independently to the variance in HDL cholesterol (p<0.001) and log(e) triglyceride (p<0.001) concentrations explained by anthropometric variables (waist circumference or body mass index). Compared to women with LDL subclass pattern A and waist circumference below the median value of 83.0 centimeters, those with pattern B and waist > or =83.0 centimeters had markedly lower HDL cholesterol levels [44.0 (41.6-47.4) vs. 57.2 (54.1-60.3) mg/dL, mean (95% CI)] and increased triglyceride concentrations [geometric mean 147.8 (131.6-165.7) vs. 95.4 (88.2-102.5) mg/dL].

Conclusions: These data suggest that adiposity and LDL subclass distribution pattern are independent determinants of plasma triglyceride and HDL cholesterol concentrations in postmenopausal women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue*
  • Aged
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Constitution
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Coronary Disease / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / blood*
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood*
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / classification*
  • Middle Aged
  • Particle Size
  • Postmenopause*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Triglycerides