Non-HDL Cholesterol Goal Attainment and Its Relationship With Triglyceride Concentrations Among Diabetic Subjects With Cardiovascular Disease: A Nationwide Survey of 2674 Individuals in Hungary

Atherosclerosis. 2015 Jul;241(1):62-8. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2015.04.810. Epub 2015 Apr 30.


Aims: Non-HDL cholesterol represents the pro-atherogenic, apo-B-containing lipoprotein fraction of circulating lipids, and represents a secondary target for CVD prevention in people with diabetes. We therefore assessed the proportion of individuals with diabetes and CVD who attain a non-HDL-C goal of <2.6 mmol/L, the extent to which triglycerides influence this goal attainment, and their relationship with HDL-C and triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRL).

Methods and results: Of 2674 diabetic subjects with baseline CVD in the Hungarian MULTI-GAP programme (mean age 64.8 years, mean HbA1c 7.2%), an LDL-C goal <1.8 and non-HDL-C goal <2.6 mmol/L was attained in 13.5% and 17.7% individuals, respectively. Non-HDL-C goal attainment declined at higher triglyceride concentrations; and graphically this relationship appeared to be continuously and inversely associated with triglyceride concentrations. In contrast, the relationship between LDL-C goal attainment was inversely and continuously associated with triglyceride levels up to about 2.5 mmol/L, after which the graphical appearance plateaued such that no further difference in LDL-C were observed beyond triglyceride levels of 2.5 mmol/L. With increasing triglyceride concentrations, non-HDL-C increased continuously, HDL-C decreased initially but later plateaued (at 1.5-2.0 [men] or 2.0-2.5 mmol/L [women]), LDL-C levels plateaued at about 2.0-2.5 mmol/L, and TRL-cholesterol (non-HDL-C minus LDL-C) rose continuously. In multivariable-adjusted models, elevated triglyceride concentrations, non-specialist care and uncontrolled blood pressure were inversely associated with non-HDL-C goal attainment. Triglyceride levels were more strongly associated with non-HDL-C than with LDL-C goal attainment (ORs per 1-SD increase in log-triglycerides was 0.74, 95% CI 0.61-0.89, for LDL-C goal attainment, and 0.49, 95% CI 0.38-0.61, for non-HDL-C goal attainment).

Conclusion: Non-HDL-C goal attainment was suboptimal in people with diabetes and co-existing CVD. This was most marked at higher triglyceride levels, possibly due to higher levels of TRL.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Diabetes mellitus; LDL cholesterol; Non-HDL cholesterol; Remnants; Triglyceride-rich lipoproteins; Triglycerides.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Dyslipidemias / blood
  • Dyslipidemias / diagnosis
  • Dyslipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Dyslipidemias / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Goals*
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Hungary / epidemiology
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Triglycerides
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human