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.

Related Articles


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 March 5, 2015 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 March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Hormone Could Protect Against Diabetes And Weight Gain

New Hormone Could Protect Against Diabetes And Weight Gain

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) A newly discovered hormone mimics the effects of exercise, protecting against diabetes and weight gain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) With no bathrooms to use, climbers of Mount Everest have been leaving human waste on the mountain for years, and it&apos;s becoming a health issue. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to 'Skinny' Your Home

The Best Tips to 'Skinny' Your Home

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to reach your health goals this season, there are a few simple tips to help you spring clean your space and improve your nutrition. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the skinny on keeping a healthy home. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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