Aim: The positive relationship between dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol has been questioned by a set of recent cohort studies. This study aimed to investigate how employment status and education years relate to the association between dietary cholesterol and serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in a Japanese population.
Methods: A population-based, random sample, cross-sectional study (INTERLIPID) was performed. Among 1,145 Japanese individuals aged 40-59 years, 106 were excluded because of special diets, use of lipid-lowering drugs, hormone replacement, and missing data, leaving 1,039 individuals (533 men and 506 women). Dietary cholesterol was assessed from four 24-h dietary recalls, and LDL-C was measured enzymatically with an auto-analyzer. A standard questionnaire inquired about employment status and education years.
Results: In men, a 1 standard deviation (SD) higher dietary cholesterol was associated with 3.16 mg/dL lower serum LDL-C (P=0.009; unadjusted model). After adjustment for covariates, higher serum LDL-C was estimated per 1 SD higher intake of dietary cholesterol in nonemployed men [self-employed, homemakers, farmers, fishermen, and retired employees; β=＋9.08, 95% confidence interval (CI)=＋0.90-＋17.27] and less educated men (β=＋4.46, 95% CI=－0.97-＋9.90), whereas an inverse association was observed in employed men (β=－3.02, 95% CI=－5.49-－0.54) and more educated men (β=－3.66, 95% CI=－6.25-－1.07).
Conclusions: In men who were nonemployed and less educated, a higher intake of dietary cholesterol was associated with elevated concentrations of serum LDL-C, whereas an inverse association was observed in men who were employed and more educated.