Association of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol with the estimated glomerular filtration rate in a community-based population

PLoS One. 2013 Nov 6;8(11):e79738. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079738. eCollection 2013.


Background: Reduced kidney function is independently associated with low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), those on hemodialysis, and those with stage 3-5 chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, epidemiological data investigating the relationship between HDL-C levels and kidney function in the general population with roughly normal kidney function are limited, and the results are also inconsistent. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between HDL-C levels and the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in a community-based population in China.

Methods: This was a community-based cross-sectional survey. In total, 4925 participants (age range, 18-96 years; mean, 51.30±11.98 years) were recruited during routine health status examinations. A questionnaire was used to ascertain age, smoking status, and the history of hypertension and diabetes mellitus for each participant. We measured the body mass index, waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and fasting glucose, total cholesterol, triglyceride, HDL-C, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, uric acid, and serum creatinine level of each participant. eGFR was evaluated using the Chinese modified Modification of Diet in Renal Disease equation.

Results: The HDL-C level was higher in the first quartile (lowest quartile) of eGFR than in the fourth quartile (the highest quartile). Additionally, HDL-C levels decreased as eGFR decreased. Pearson's correlation analysis revealed that HDL-C levels were associated with eGFR (r=0.16). After adjustment for some confounders, HDL-C was independently associated with all quartiles of eGFR in the participants.

Conclusions: HDL-C was independently associated with kidney function in a community-dwelling general population. The association between low HDL-C levels and a decreased eGFR gradually strengthened as eGFR declined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Residence Characteristics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Creatinine

Grant support

This study was supported by a grant from the Key National Basic Research Program of China (2012CB517503, 2013CB530804) and Nature Science Foundation of China (81270941). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.