Single cholesterol measurements in postmenopausal women - Tips from Other Journals

Date: June, 1992

Serum total cholesterol levels are known to vary widely in individuals because of physiologic, dietary and sampling reasons. Hetland and colleagues investigated how accurately a single fasting serum total cholesterol determination reflects long-term cholesterol levels in postmenopausal women.

For two years, fasting cholesterol levels were determined quarterly in 169 healthy women aged 45 to 54 who had gone through menopause an average of 20 months earlier. Forty-eight of the women were retested in seven years, and 121 were retested after 12 years. The initial measurements were then compared with a statistical calculation of individual long-term serum cholesterol levels.

No significant differences were found between the initial and long-term serum cholesterol levels. Averaging the initial two or three levels provided no improvement in the accuracy of the test.

The authors conclude that for healthy postmenopausal women, a single serum total cholesterol measurement is sufficient for screening purposes. They recommend that if the initial measurement is elevated, serum lipoprotein analysis should be performed. (American Journal of Medicine, January 1992, vol. 92, p. 25.)

COPYRIGHT 1992 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

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