Background: In several studies, it was shown that there was a marked decrease in serum levels of HDL-C during infection and inflammation in general. In particular, a decrease in the level of serum HDL-C was also shown in pneumonia. Correlations between inflammatory markers such as acute phase proteins, cytokines and serum HDL-C levels were shown. However, there are no studies indicating a correlation between serum HDL-C levels and the radiological extent of the disease (RED) in community-acquired pneumonia (CAP).
Aim: We hypothesized that there could be a relationship between serum HDL-C levels and RED in CAP.
Materials and methods: A case-controlled study, including 97 patients with CAP and 45 healthy subjects, was performed. Chest X-rays of CAP patients were scored for RED, and correlations were investigated between RED scores, serum lipid parameters, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and serum albumin levels.
Results: The mean serum HDL-C level was lower in CAP patients than in controls. A significant and negative correlation between RED scores (REDS) and serum HDL-C levels was detected (r = -0.64, P = 0.0001). There were also significant correlations between REDS and other lipid parameters. Significant correlations between ESR and serum HDL-C levels and between ESR and other serum lipid parameters were also found.
Conclusion: It appears that serum HDL-C levels are generally lower in CAP cases than in healthy controls. Serum HDL-C levels and serum albumin levels might decrease and serum total cholesterol/HDL-C ratios and log (TG/HDL-C) values might increase proportionally with RED in CAP patients. These results might have some significance for individuals having long-standing and/or recurrent pneumonia and other cardiovascular risk factors.