Rural-urban difference in lipid levels and prevalence of dyslipidemia: a population-based study in Khon Kaen province, Thailand

J Med Assoc Thai. 2006 Nov;89(11):1835-44.


Objectives: To determine the lipid levels and examine the effect of an urban lifestyle on dyslipidemia, by comparing the lipid levels and the prevalence of dyslipidemia of rural vs. urban dwellers in Thailand

Material and method: A cross-sectional study was conducted in both rural and urban areas of Khon Kaen province. After a 12-hour fast, blood was drawn for assessment of total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), high-density lipoprotein (HDL-C) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C) cholesterol. The classification of dyslipidemia was based on the NCEP A TP III guidelines.

Results: The authors recruited 916 subjects (595 urban; 321 rural), ranging between 20 and 88 years of age. In both the men and women, the mean TC and LDL-C were significantly higher in urban vs. rural subjects (TC; 207 vs. 169 for men and 204 vs. 192 mg/dl for women and LDL-C; 120 vs. 87 for men and 122 vs. 110 mg/dl for women, p < 0.001). The rural women had a significantly higher mean TG (159 vs. 111 mg/dl, p < 0.001) but lower HDL-C (51 vs. 59, mg/dl, p < 0.001) than urban women. The TG and HDL-C between urban and rural men was not significantly different. Urban men had a significantly higher prevalence of dyslipidemia (TC > or =240 and LDL-C > or = 60 mg/dl) than rural men (25.9 vs. .3.7 per cent for TC and 16.7 vs. 3.7 percent for LDL-C, p < 0.001) while the prevalence of hypertriglyceridemia (> or =200 mg/dl) and low HDL-C (< 40 mg/dl) was significantly higher in rural women (18.2 vs. 7.9 percent for TG and 15.0 vs. 3.8 per cent of HDL-C, p < 0.001). The results were unchanged after matching for age and sex between the urban and rural populations.

Conclusion: This present study demonstrated a significant difference in urban vs. rural lipid levels and the prevalence of dyslipidemia. Migration to urban centers and adopting an urban lifestyle is likely related to the rising lipid level and prevalence of dyslipidemia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dyslipidemias / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Thailand / epidemiology
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*