Article ID: 42531
Aim: To investigate associations between socioeconomic status (SES) and the prevalence and treatment status of hypercholesterolemia in a general Japanese population.
Methods: In 2010, we established a cohort study of 2417 adults (age 20–91 yr) from 300 randomly selected areas across Japan who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Survey of Japan. We cross-sectionally examined an association between SES and (1) prevalence of hypercholesterolemia in 2417 participants (999 men and 1418 women) and (2) not receiving medication for hypercholesterolemia in 654 participants (215 men and 439 women). SES included employment status, marital status, length of education, and household expenditures. Hypercholesterolemia was defined as a total serum cholesterol level of ≥6.21 mmol/L (240 mg/dL) or the use of lipid-lowering medications.
Results: The overall prevalence of hypercholesterolemia was 21.5% in men and 31.0% in women. In men, the lowest quintile of household expenditures was associated with a higher prevalence of hypercholesterolemia (28.3%) compared with the upper 4 quintiles (19.9%) (multivariable-adjusted odds ratio 1.66; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.16–2.38). Among participants with hypercholesterolemia, 55.4% of men and 55.1% of women were not receiving medication. Unmarried men were more likely to be untreated (75.0%) than married men (50.9%) (multivariable-adjusted odds ratio 2.53;95%CI 1.05–6.08). SES had no significant effects in women.
Conclusion: In a general population of Japanese men, low household expenditures were associated with a higher prevalence of hypercholesterolemia, and unmarried men with hypercholesterolemia were less likely to receive medication.