Race and Gender Factor into Lipid Levels

Published Online: Wednesday, December 1, 2004

In a key measure of heart disease, researchers found that African Americans and women typically have better lipid profiles, compared with Caucasians and men. The study involved 285 inactive and overweight men and women with no history of heart disease or diabetes. Although there was no difference between African American and Caucasian men regarding low-density lipoprotein (LDL; "bad") cholesterol, the researchers discovered that African American women tended to have larger LDL particle sizes with lower amounts of small LDL particles, compared with Caucasian women.

Examining high-density lipoprotein (HDL; "good") cholesterol, the researchers learned that women not only had higher HDL levels, but also had higher amounts of the large HDL particles, with a greater percentage of their total HDL being larger, compared with men.

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