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HOME > Korean J Prev Med > Volume 30(1); 1997 > Article
Original Article Four-year change and tracking of serum lipids in Korean adolescents.
Kang Hee Lee, Il Suh, Sun Ha Jee, Chung Mo Nam, Sung Soon Kim, Won Heum Shim, Jong Won Ha, Suk Il Kim, Hyung Gon Kang
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 1997;30(1):45-60
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1Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Medical College, Yonsei University, Korea.
2Department of Epidemiology, The Johns Hopkines University, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Korea.
3Department of Internal Medicine, Medical College, Yonsei University, Korea.

It has been known that there is a tracking phenomenon in the level of serum lipids. However, no study has been performed to examine the change and tracking of serum lipids in Korean adolescents. The purpose of this study is to examine the changes of serum lipids in Korean adolescents from 12 to 16 years of age, and to examine whether or not there is a tracking phenomenon in serum lipids level during the period. In 1992 serum lipids(total cholesterol(TC), triglyceride(TG), LDL cholesterol(LDL-C), HDL cholesterol(HDL-C)) were measured in 318 males, 365 females who were 12 years of age in Kangwha county, Korea. These participants have been followed up to 1996 and serum lipids level were examined in 1994 and 1996. Among the participants 162 males and 147 females completed all three examinations in fasting state. To examine the effect of eliminating adolescents with incomplete data, we compared serum lipids, blood pressure and anthropometric measures at baseline between adolescents with complete follow-up and adolescents who were withdrawn. To examine the change of serum lipids we compared mean values of serum lipids according to age in males and females. Repeated analysis of variance was used to test the change according to age. We used three methods to examine the existence of tracking. First, we analyzed the trends in serum lipids over 4-year period within quartile groups formed on the basis of the first-year serum lipids level to see whether or not the relative ranking of the mean serum lipids among the quartile groups remained in the same group for 4-year period. Second, we quantified the degree of tracking by calculating Spearman's rank correlation coefficient between every tests. Third, the persistence extreme quartile method was used. This method divides the population into quartile groups according to the initial level of blood lipids and then calculates the percent of the subjects who stayed in the same group at follow-up measurement. The decreases in levels were noted during 4 years for TC, LDL-C, primarily for boys. The level of HDL-C decreased between baseline and first follow-up for both sexes and girls. Tracking, as measured by both correlation coefficients and persistence extreme quartiles, was evident for all of the lipids. The correlation coefficients of TC between baseline and 4 years later in boys and girls were 0.55 and 0.68, respectively. And the corresponding values for HDL-C were 0.58 and 0.69. More than 50% of adolescents who belonged to the highest quartile group in TC, HDL-C and LDL-C at the baseline were remained at the same group at the examination performed 2 years later for both sexes. The probability of remaining at the same group was more than 35% when examined 4 years later. The tracking phenomenon of TG was less evident compared with the other lipids. Percents of girls who stayed at the same group 2 years later and 4 years later were 42.9% and 25.7%, respectively. It was evident that serum lipid levels tracked in Korean adolescents. Researches with longer follow-up would be needed in he future to investigate the long-term change of lipids from adolescents to adults.

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