Association between high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and lumbar bone mineral density in Chinese: a large cross-sectional study

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Sun, Yongbing
Qi, Xin
Wang, Xuan
Lin, Xinbei
Zhou, Yang
Du, Yawei
Liu, Ao
Lv, Xue
Zhou, Jing
Li, Zhonglin
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Abstract Background The association between lipid and bone metabolism, particularly the role of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) in regulating bone mineral density (BMD), is of significant interest. Despite numerous studies, findings on this relationship remain inconclusive, especially since evidence from large, sexually diverse Chinese populations is sparse. This study, therefore, investigates the correlation between HDL-C and lumbar BMD in people of different genders using extensive population-based data from physical examinations conducted in China. Methods Data from a cross-sectional survey involving 20,351 individuals aged > = 20 years drawn from medical records of health check-ups at the Health Management Centre of the Henan Provincial People’s Hospital formed the basis of this study. The primary objective was to determine the correlation between HDL-C levels and lumbar BMD across genders. The analysis methodology included demographic data analysis, one-way ANOVA, subgroup analyses, multifactorial regression equations, smoothed curve fitting, and threshold and saturation effect analyses. Results Multifactorial regression analysis revealed a significant inverse relationship between HDL-C levels and lumbar BMD in both sexes, controlling for potential confounders (Male: β = -8.77, 95% CI -11.65 to -5.88, P < 0.001; Female: β = -4.77, 95% CI -8.63 to -0.90, P = 0.015). Subgroup and threshold saturation effect analyses indicated a stronger association in males, showing that increased HDL-C correlates with reduced lumbar BMD irrespective of age and body mass index (BMI). The most significant effect was observed in males with BMI > 28 kg/m2 and HDL-C > 1.45 mmol/L and in females with a BMI between 24 and 28 kg/m2. Conclusion Elevated HDL-C is associated with decreased bone mass, particularly in obese males. These findings indicate that individuals with high HDL-C levels should receive careful clinical monitoring to mitigate osteoporosis risk. Trial registration The research protocol received ethics approval from the Ethics Committee at Beijing Jishuitan Hospital, in conformity with the Declaration of Helsinki guidelines (No. 2015-12-02). These data are a contribution of the China Health Quantitative CT Big Data Research team, registered at (code: NCT03699228).
Lipids in Health and Disease. 2024 Jan 24;23(1):27