High-density lipoprotein cholesterol and objective measures of lower extremity performance in older nondisabled persons: The InChianti study

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Section of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Impact Factor: 4.22). 05/2008; 56(4):621-9. DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2007.01608.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To evaluate the independent association between high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels and objective measures of lower extremity performance.
Cross-sectional cohort study.
Eight hundred thirty-six nondisabled women and men aged 65 and older enrolled in the Invecchiare in Chianti study.
Lower extremity performance was assessed using 4-m walking speed at fast pace, 400-m walking speed, and knee extension torque. Fasting HDL-C levels were determined using commercial enzymatic tests.
The mean age of participants was 73.7 (65-92), and 55.6% were women. After adjusting for potential confounders (sociodemographic factors, smoking, physical activity, body composition, and clinical conditions including cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, inflammatory markers, and serum testosterone) HDL-C levels were significantly associated with knee extension torque in men and women and with 4-m and 400-m walking speed in men. Men in the highest tertile of the HDL-C distribution (>55 mg/dL) had, on average, a three times greater probability of belonging to the best tertile of all indexes of lower extremity performance, including 4-m fast walking speed (odds ratio (OR)=2.57, 95%=confidence interval (CI)=1.07-6.17), 400-m walking speed (OR=3.74, 95% CI=1.20-11.7), and knee extension torque (OR=3.63, 95%=CI 1.41-9.33). Path analysis suggested a direct relationship between HDL-C and knee extension torque.
In older nondisabled persons, HDL-C levels are highly correlated with knee extension torque and walking speed. Further research should focus on the biological mechanism of this association.

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