Lifestyle change and high-density lipoprotein change: the US department of veterans affairs normative aging study

Clinical Cardiology, 04/18/2012

Increases in alcohol consumption, maintaining moderate alcohol intake, and maintaining BMI ≤25 kg/m2 were associated with significant 3–year increases in HDL–C. Clin.


  • Changes in HDL–C (in milligrams/deciliter) over a 3–year period were calculated for each pair of exams.
  • For each interval of HDL–C change, lifestyle exposures were categorized: participants maintained a stable BMI >25 kg/m2 (reference) or ≤25 kg/m2 since the previous exam, or increased or decreased BMI; participants were actively smoking at both exams (reference), nonsmokers at both exams, quit, or initiated smoking between exams; and participants maintained alcohol intake of <2 (reference) or ≥2 drinks daily since the previous exam, or increased or decreased alcohol intake.
  • Longitudinal analysis was used to examine the relationship between the lifestyle change categories and 3–year change in HDL–C for each interval, adjusting for comorbidities, lipids, and cholesterol medication.


  • Participants were followed for approximately 14.3 years.
  • Increases in HDL–C were associated with maintaining alcohol intake of ≥2 drinks daily (mean HDL–C increase, 0.86; P = 0.02), increasing alcohol intake from <2 to ≥2 drinks daily (mean, 2.53; P = 0.0003), and with maintaining a BMI of ≤25 kg/m2 (mean, 0.71; P = 0.04).

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