Objective: To determine predictors of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) and triglyceride (TG) concentrations in postmenopausal women.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: Clinical research facility.
Participants: One hundred twenty-seven healthy, relatively sedentary, postmenopausal women not on estrogen replacement, mean age 57 years.
Measurements: Alcohol intake, cigarette smoking, aerobic fitness (VO2max), body mass index (BMI), percent body fat, waist-hip ratio, lipids and lipoproteins, fasting plasma glucose (FPG), and insulin (FPI) concentrations.
Results: In univariate analyses, HDL was significantly (P < 0.05) inversely related to BMI, waist-hip ratio, smoking, FPG, and FPI, and directly related to VO2max and alcohol intake. Triglycerides were related directly to BMI, waist-hip ratio, percent body fat, FPG, and FPI, and inversely to VO2max. In stepwise multiple regressions, BMI, waist-hip ratio, alcohol, smoking, and FPG were significantly associated with HDL (R2 for the model = 0.43). Addition of TG to these models reduced relations of BMI and waist-hip ratio, but not the other variables, to insignificance. For triglycerides, waist-hip ratio, alcohol, smoking, FPG, and FPI were significant predictors (R2 = 0.33). VO2max and percent body fat did not contribute to any model.
Conclusions: Obesity, abdominal obesity, smoking, alcohol intake, and measures of carbohydrate metabolism predict HDL and triglyceride concentrations in postmenopausal women.