Association between serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and metabolic syndrome in a working population

Lipids Health Dis. 2021 Jul 18;20(1):73. doi: 10.1186/s12944-021-01500-1.


Background: The studies, investigating the association of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) with metabolic syndrome (MetS) are limited with controversial conclusions. Therefore, this study aimed at revealing the specific relationship between the serum LDL-C levels and MetS prevalence in a large working population.

Methods: Secondary data analysis of a cross-sectional study, conducted between 2012 and 2016 in Spain on participants aged within the range of 20-70 years, involved 60,799 workers. Logistic regression analysis was applied to evaluate the association between the levels of serum LDL-C and MetS prevalence.

Results: Among the 60,799 workers, the prevalence of MetS was 9.0%. The odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) of MetS prevalence were 1.27 (1.16-1.39) and 1.53 (1.41-1.65) for the individuals with the LDL-C levels in lower (< 103.8 mg/dL) and upper (> 135.8 mg/dL) tertiles as compared to those with the LDL-C levels in middle tertile (103.8-135.8 mg/dL) in the studied population. Similarly, a U-shaped relationship was also observed in male cohort. The serum LDL-C levels associated with the lowest risk of current MetS were 113.6 mg/dL and 117.6 mg/dL in the overall studied population and male cohort, respectively. The female workers with the levels of LDL-C higher than 135.0 mg/dL had an increased prevalence of MetS (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: The low and high levels of serum LDL-C were associated with an increased prevalence of MetS in the working population and in male workers. Only the high (> 135.0 mg/dL) levels of LDL-C increased MetS prevalence in female workers.

Keywords: Dyslipidemia; LDL-C; Lipid; Metabolic syndrome.