Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cholesterol Levels Fluctuate With The Seasons

Date:
April 27, 2004
Source:
Journal Of The American Medical Association
Summary:
Cholesterol levels vary with the seasons, reaching their highest levels in the winter months, according to an article in the April 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

CHICAGO -- Cholesterol levels vary with the seasons, reaching their highest levels in the winter months, according to an article in the April 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

According to the article, a variety of studies have suggested that cholesterol levels are higher in the fall and winter than they are in the spring and summer. Although the mechanism for this phenomenon is not clear, such variation could result in larger numbers of people being diagnosed as having high cholesterol in the winter, the article states.

Ira S. Ockene, M.D., of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, and colleagues investigated the seasonal variation in cholesterol among 517 healthy volunteers from a health maintenance organization serving central Massachusetts. Data were collected quarterly over a twelve-month period on diet, physical activity, exposure to light, general behavioral information, and cholesterol levels were also measured.

The researchers found that the average cholesterol level was 222 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter of blood) in men and 213 mg/dL in women. According to the U.S. National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines, 240 mg/dL is the threshold level for hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol). Cholesterol levels were increased by 3.9 mg/dL in men, with a peak in December, and by 5.4 mg/dL in women, with a peak in January. The researchers found that the increases were greater in participants who had high cholesterol levels to begin with. Overall, 22 percent more participants had total cholesterol levels of 240 mg/dL or greater (high cholesterol) in the winter than in the summer. The researchers write that seasonal changes in plasma volume (a component of blood) explained a substantial proportion of the observed increase in cholesterol levels in the winter. The authors also report that there were no statistically significant seasonal changes in dietary and caloric intake.

"In conclusion, this study demonstrates seasonal variation in blood lipid levels, with a peak in the winter and a trough in the summer. Our findings suggest that there is greater amplitude in seasonal variability in women and in people with hypercholesterolemia [high cholesterol]," the authors write. "However, changes in relative plasma volume seem to explain a substantial proportion of the observed seasonal difference in blood lipid levels. Changes in temperature and/or physical activity in winter and summer seem to be related to concomitant changes in relative plasma volume."

"The information provided by this study could assist in the continuous development of guidelines for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia; however, we do not believe that season-specific guidelines would be justified," the researchers write. "Further research is needed to better understand the mechanism through which physical activity and temperature control systems could aid in the prevention of coronary heart disease morbidity and mortality." (Arch Intern Med. 2004;164:863-870. Available post-embargo at archinternmed.com)

Editor's Note: The SEASONS Study was supported by a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Md.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal Of The American Medical Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Journal Of The American Medical Association. "Cholesterol Levels Fluctuate With The Seasons." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040427054002.htm>.
Journal Of The American Medical Association. (2004, April 27). Cholesterol Levels Fluctuate With The Seasons. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040427054002.htm
Journal Of The American Medical Association. "Cholesterol Levels Fluctuate With The Seasons." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040427054002.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins