Aims/hypothesis: The aim of this study was to assess the association between total cholesterol and major cardiovascular diseases among persons with and without diabetes in the Asia-Pacific region. Methods: We used data on individual participants in 30 cohort studies from the Asia-Pacific region to compute the hazards ratios and 95% CIs for participants with and without diabetes at baseline, using Cox proportional models. Analyses were stratified by sex and region (Asia vs Australia or New Zealand) and adjusted for age. Repeat measurements of total cholesterol were used to adjust for regression dilution bias. Results: The analysis included 333,533 individuals (6.3% with diabetes at baseline) who experienced 6,074 fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events over a median follow-up period of 4.0 years. Total cholesterol was positively associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) and ischaemic stroke, and negatively with haemorrhagic stroke in a continuous, log-linear fashion, similarly among participants with and without diabetes. Each 1 mmol/l increase above the 'usual' level for total cholesterol was associated with a 41% (95% CI 23-63%) and 42% (95% CI 35-50%) greater risk of CHD among participants with and without diabetes. The corresponding values for ischaemic stroke were 23% (95% CI 0-52%) and 31% (95% CI 20-44%), respectively. These results were broadly consistent for sex, age and region. Conclusions/interpretation: Total cholesterol is associated with similarly increased risks of cardiovascular events in people with and without diabetes. While abnormal levels of other lipid fractions are frequently observed in people with diabetes, these data support aggressive lowering of total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels for prevention of cardiovascular events.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism