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The purpose of this study was to assess the 10-year trend in lipid and antioxidant vitamin levels in the Catalan population from 1992 to 2003.
Two cross-sectional surveys were carried out in Catalonia, Spain, during 1992–93 and 2002–03. A subsample of the individuals participating in the surveys agreed to undergo a biochemical evaluation.
Eight hundred and eighty individuals (393 males and 487 females) in the 1992–93 nutritional survey and 429 individuals (205 males and 224 females) in the 2002–03 nutritional and health survey. The subjects’ ages ranged from 18 to 74 years.
Mean total cholesterol decreased from 5.3 to 5.1 mmol l−1 (P < 0.005), and the prevalence of hypercholesterolaemia decreased, especially in males (from 23% to 10% in males from 50 to 64 years old, P < 0.05). Mean cholesterol high-density lipoprotein (HDL) values decreased in the entire sample (from 1.4 to 1.3 mmol l−1, P < 0.001) and there was an increase in the percentage of population with low values of HDL (from 10% to 19%, P < 0.001). An increase in the percentage of the population with values of α-tocopherol at marginal risk levels (from 6% to 9%) and with low values of β-carotene (from 59% to 66%) was observed. The mean values for retinol increased in both males (from 1.99 to 2.44 μmmol l−1, P < 0.001) and females (from 1.69 to 2.29, P < 0.001).
Although there was a decrease in the percentage of population with hypercholesterolaemia, the decrease in HDL cholesterol worsened the lipid profile of the Catalan population. The increase in the values of some antioxidant vitamins did not affect the entire population since an increase in the number of individuals with marginal values was observed.
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