Non-LDL dyslipidemia is prevalent in the young and determined by lifestyle factors and age: The LifeLines cohort.

Non-LDL dyslipidemia (NLD) confers cardiovascular risk, and prevalence rates appear to be high in elderly populations. Small cohorts have identified several lifestyle, anthropometric, and medical factors associated with NLD. We aimed to assess sex- and age-specific prevalence of NLD in a contemporary population cohort (n = 167 729), and to identify independent determinants of NLD, focusing on lifestyle, anthropometric, and medical factors.

The prevalence of NLD was assessed per 10-year age intervals in adults without cardiovascular disease not using lipid-modifying drugs from the Dutch LifeLines cohort. NLD was defined as low HDL-cholesterol or high triglycerides or high remnant cholesterol as per guideline cut-off values. Multivariable regression was used to identify factors independently associated with NLD. Determinants included age, smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, diet, BMI, diabetes mellitus (DM), chronic kidney disease, and in women, menopausal state and oral contraceptive use.

NLD occurred in 15-19% of women and 13-30% of men in this cohort, with the highest prevalence of 30% in 35-55 year old men. In most age groups, the prevalence in women was lower than in men. Obesity (both sexes: Odds ratio (OR) 5.3, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 5.0-5.7), current smoking (men: OR 1.8, 95%CI 1.7-1.9; women OR 2.2, 95%CI 2.1-2.3), and DM (men: OR 2.2, 95%CI 1.8-2.6; women: OR 2.7, 95%CI 2.3-3.1) were strongly associated with NLD.

NLD already occurs frequently at an early age. Modifiable lifestyle choices, obesity, and DM were strong determinants of NLD. Public health efforts could substantially contribute to decrease NLD.

year of publication



  • Atherosclerosis


  • de Vries, JK
  • Balder, JW
  • Pena, MJ
  • Denig, P
  • Smit, AJ

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