Turkish Military Personnel: Coronary Risk Factors & HDL

Research Paper Title

Traditional Coronary Risk Factors in Healthy Turkish Military Personnel between 20 and 50 years old: Focus on High-density Lipoprotein Cholesterol.

Background

Previous studies presented the Turkish population as a typical example of nations with low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c). Nevertheless, some recent studies opposed this suggestion. The researchers aimed to examine the traditional cardiovascular risk factors in young-middle age male military professionals, focusing especially on HDL-c.

Methods

In this observational and cross-sectional study, the data of 820 male military personnel between 20-50 years old (mean age: 35.3±6.9) who applied to the hospital for routine health examination were included. Blood biochemistry, arterial blood pressure and anthropometric measurements were noted. Statistical analysis was performed using Kruskal-Wallis test and ANCOVA.

Results

The mean age was 35.3±6.9, body mass index was 25.8±3.4 kg/m2 and waist circumference was 93.1±8.7 cm. HDL-c, low-density cholesterol, triglyceride and fasting blood glucose levels were 47.6±11.3, 120.4±33.2, 150.4±86.4 and 96,6±13.0 mg/dL, respectively. Only 23.2% of the participants had HDL-c level less than 40 mg/dL. The ratio of current smokers was 40.7%. Almost 66% of the participants (n=545) were making regular exercise. Mean systolic and diastolic arterial blood pressures were 124.1±13.0 and 75.7±9.3 mm Hg, respectively.

Conclusions

The “mean” levels of traditional coronary risk factors were in almost “normal” limits in healthy young-middle age male military professionals that were examined. It must be emphasised that the HDL-c level, which was defined as “genetically low in Turks” in some previous epidemiologic studies, was not really low. This finding may be due to relatively favourable life style of the study population. On the other hand, some recent population studies in Turkey had found HDL-c levels higher than it was thought. This issue needs further clarification in specific age groups without sedentary lifestyle.

Reference

Barçın, C., Kabul, H.K., Tapan, S., Küçük, U. & Cöl, M. (2013) Traditional Coronary Risk Factors in Healthy Turkish Military Personnel between 20 and 50 years old: Focus on High-density Lipoprotein Cholesterol. The Anatolian Journal of Cardiology. 13(6), pp.552-558.

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