No change in blood cholesterol levels in India: National Institute of Nutrition

National Institute of Nutrition
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National Institute of Nutrition
Highlights

  • It is rising in Asia, dropping in Western countries
  • The research used data from 102.6 million individuals and examined cholesterol levels in 200 countries, across a 39-year time period, from 1980 to 2018
  • Western countries, particularly those in North-western Europe, North America and Australasia show decrease

Hyderabad: "Cholesterol is rising in the Asian region, but declining sharply in Western nations, though the total cholesterol is still higher when compared to the levels in the Asian region", said Dr Avula Laxmaiah, Scientist G & Head, Division of Public Health Nutrition, National Institute of Nutrition (Hyderabad), who is one of the authors of the recent research paper that is based on the largest ever study of global cholesterol levels.

The new study, 'Repositioning of the global epicentre of non-optimal cholesterol', which is published in the renowned scientific Journal, Nature recently, was led by the Imperial College, London and had hundreds of researchers from across the world contributing to it.

The research used data from 102.6 million individuals and examined cholesterol levels in 200 countries, across a 39-year time period, from 1980 to 2018."The work, which was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the British Heart Foundation, revealed that high cholesterol was responsible for about 3.9 million deaths worldwide", said. Dr Hemalatha R, Director, National Institute of Nutrition.

She stated that results of the new study revealed decrease in total and non-HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol levels in high income nations, particularly those in North-western Europe, North America and Australasia, while they are rising in low- and middle-income nations, particularly in East and Southeast Asia.

China, which had some of the lowest levels of non-HDL cholesterol in 1980, had one of the largest rates of increase in non-HDL over the 39 years study period.Prof Majid Ezzati, the lead author of the research from Imperial School of Public Health, said, "For the first time, the highest levels of non-HDL cholesterol are outside of the Western World. This suggests we now need to set into place throughout the world pricing and regulatory policies that shift diets from saturated to non-saturated fats, and to prepare health systems to treat those in need with effective medicines.

This will help save millions of deaths from high non-HDL cholesterol in these regions" The team points out that some countries had less data compared to others, which could influence how certain we are about cholesterol levels and changes over time. Dr Laxmaiah said Non-HDL cholesterol among Indian men ranked 128th in 1980 and remained the same in 2018. However, in case of women, the rank increased marginally from 139th to 140th at global level.

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