Novel relationship of serum cholesterol with asthma and wheeze in the United States

Department of Health and Human Services, Laboratory of Respiratory Biology, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology (Impact Factor: 11.25). 10/2009; 124(5):967-74.e1-15. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2009.08.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cholesterol exerts complex effects on inflammation. There has been little investigation of whether serum cholesterol is associated with asthma, an inflammatory airways disease with great public health impact.
To determine relationships between levels of 3 serum cholesterol measures (total cholesterol [TC], high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-C], and non-HDL-C) and asthma/wheeze in a sample representative of the US population.
Cross-sectional study of 7005 participants age >or=6 years from the 2005 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Serum TC and non-HDL-C were lower in patients with current asthma than in subjects without current asthma in the overall population (TC, 188.5 vs 192.2 mg/dL; non-HDL-C, 133.9 vs 137.7 mg/dL; P < .05 for both), whereas HDL-C was not different. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) from multivariate logistic regression per 1-SD increase of TC and non-HDL-C for current asthma were 0.92 (95% CI, 0.86-0.98) and 0.91 (95% CI, 0.85-0.98), respectively. On racial/ethnic stratification, these relationships reflect marked reductions unique to Mexican Americans (MAs; TC, 171.4 vs 189.3 mg/dL; P < .001; OR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.48-0.80; non-HDL-C, 119.8 vs 137.9 mg/dL; P < .001; OR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.48-0.79). Among MAs, the adjusted OR for wheeze requiring medical attention was 0.57 (95% CI, 0.43-0.75) for TC and 0.53 (95% CI, 0.33-0.85) for non-HDL-C. Relationships between cholesterol and asthma/wheeze were independent of body mass index and serum C-reactive protein, and similar between atopic and nonatopic participants.
Serum TC and non-HDL-C are inversely related to asthma in the US population, chiefly reflecting a relationship among MAs.

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