Context: Dyslipidemia coexists with hyperglycemia. However, little is known about the ethnic differences in lipid profiles at comparable glucose tolerance status.
Objective: The aim was to study ethnic differences in lipid profiles stratified by glucose levels.
Design and setting: Data from 31 study cohorts of 12 countries, consisting of 24,760 men and 27,595 women aged 25-74 yr, were compared. The odds ratio for having dyslipidemia was estimated for each ethnic group stratified by glucose categories.
Results: Compared with central and northern Europeans, multivariable adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for having lower high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol were 4.74 (4.19-5.37), 5.05 (3.88-6.56), 3.07 (2.15-4.40), and 2.37 (1.67-3.35) in Asian Indian men, but 0.12 (0.09-0.16), 0.07 (0.04-0.13), 0.11 (0.07-0.20), and 0.16 (0.08-0.32) in Chinese men who had normoglycemia, prediabetes, and undiagnosed and diagnosed diabetes, respectively. Similar results were obtained for women. The prevalence of low high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol remained higher in Asian Indians (62.8% of the nondiabetic and 67.4% of the diabetic) than in central and northern Europeans (20.3 and 37.3%), Japanese (25.7 and 34.1%), or Qingdao Chinese (15.7 and 17.0%), even in individuals with low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol of less than 3 mmol/liter.
Conclusion: There are distinct patterns of lipid profiles associated with ethnicity regardless of the glucose levels, suggesting that ethnic-specific strategies and guidelines on risk assessment and prevention of cardiovascular disease are required.