Aim: To study the pattern and prevalence of dyslipidemia in a large representative sample of four selected regions in India.
Methods: Phase I of the Indian Council of Medical Research-India Diabetes (ICMR-INDIAB) study was conducted in a representative population of three states of India [Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Jharkhand] and one Union Territory [Chandigarh], and covered a population of 213 million people using stratified multistage sampling design to recruit individuals ≥20 years of age. All the study subjects (n = 16,607) underwent anthropometric measurements and oral glucose tolerance tests were done using capillary blood (except in self-reported diabetes). In addition, in every 5th subject (n = 2042), a fasting venous sample was collected and assayed for lipids. Dyslipidemia was diagnosed using National Cholesterol Education Programme (NCEP) guidelines.
Results: Of the subjects studied, 13.9% had hypercholesterolemia, 29.5% had hypertriglyceridemia, 72.3% had low HDL-C, 11.8% had high LDL-C levels and 79% had abnormalities in one of the lipid parameters. Regional disparity exists with the highest rates of hypercholesterolemia observed in Tamilnadu (18.3%), highest rates of hypertriglyceridemia in Chandigarh (38.6%), highest rates of low HDL-C in Jharkhand (76.8%) and highest rates of high LDL-C in Tamilnadu (15.8%). Except for low HDL-C and in the state of Maharashtra, in all other states, urban residents had the highest prevalence of lipid abnormalities compared to rural residents. Low HDL-C was the most common lipid abnormality (72.3%) in all the four regions studied; in 44.9% of subjects, it was present as an isolated abnormality. Common significant risk factors for dyslipidemia included obesity, diabetes, and dysglycemia.
Conclusion: The prevalence of dyslipidemia is very high in India, which calls for urgent lifestyle intervention strategies to prevent and manage this important cardiovascular risk factor.