2010 Volume 20 Issue 4 Pages 259-265
Although the causal relationships of high serum levels of total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) with coronary artery disease (CAD) are well established, there have been few community-based epidemiologic studies of these relations in Japan. Furthermore, even when analysis is restricted to ischemic stroke, the relationship between dyslipidemia and stroke is very weak. Accordingly, it is difficult to perform cohort studies of dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease. A series of studies, such as the NIPPON DATA (National Integrated Project for Prospective Observation of Non-communicable Disease and Its Trends in the Aged) cohort study of a representative sample of Japanese, have greatly increased existing evidence. NIPPON DATA80 revealed a clear positive relationship between TC and CAD, and indicated that reverse causality between hypocholesterolemia and liver disease may increase all-cause mortality in hypocholesterolemic Japanese. NIPPON DATA90 showed that serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) was inversely associated with all-cause mortality, even when HDL-C was very high. NIPPON DATA80 revealed that low-normal levels of serum albumin and TC are associated with a decline in activity during old age, especially in women. The Suita study—a unique cohort study of urban residents—showed that LDL-C and non–HDL-C were equally accurate in predicting the incidence of myocardial infarction. Further research of this quality is needed to ascertain the public health burden of dyslipidemia in Japan.