Plasma lipids and cardiovascular risk: A POSCH report

Henry Buchwald, James R. Boen, Phuong A. Nguyen, Stanley E. Williams, John P. Matts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Quantifying the relationship between changes in lipid variables and clinical endpoints has been difficult. We studied the predictive value of various lipid variables on three endpoints in the Program on the Surgical Control of the Hyperlipidemias (POSCH): overall mortality, coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality, and CHD mortality and confirmed nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI) combined. We measured lipid variables for the annual visits from baseline to 5 years for actual follow-up values, actual and percentage differences between baseline and follow-up values, as well as the parameters comparing baseline only to 5 years for actual differences, percentage differences, and the ratio of baseline to 5 years. The lipid variables included were total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, and the LDL cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio. The analytic method used was that of Cox regression, with age and sex as secondary covariates, and each lipid or ratio of lipids as the primary (univariate) covariate. As a result, 108 univariate Cox regressions were conducted. The combined findings for the control and the intervention groups are presented. The number of events for the combined group were: overall mortality, 190; CHD mortality, 119; and CHD mortality and confirmed nonfatal MI, 262. The highest hazard ratios were found for the lipid variable of the LDL cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio (e.g. 1.196 for a 1-unit increase). Only for the combined endpoint of CHD mortality and confirmed nonfatal MI was there a substantial number of statistically significant relationships (P < 0.01) of lipid variables and parameters of assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-227
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grants RO1-HL-15265 and RO1-HL-49522 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Maryland and a grant from the Office of the Dean and the Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota.


  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins
  • Risk factors


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