Document Type : Original Article(s)


1 Assistant Professor, Ischemic Disorders Research Center, School of Medicine, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Golestan, Iran

2 Deputy of Health, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Golestan, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Golestan, Iran


BACKGROUND: The main aim of this study was to evaluate the association between serum cholesterol level and body mass index (BMI) in northern Iran. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study carried out on the 1995 subjects (997 males and 998 females) aged 25-65 years that were selected using multistage cluster sampling method. Plasma cholesterol was measured in the morning after a 12-hour fasting and was determined by auto-analyzer. Hypercholesterolemia (HC) was defined by a total plasma cholesterol level over 200 mg/dl. Weight and height were measured and BMI 25-29.9 kg/m2 and ≥ 30 kg/m2 was classified overweight and obesity, respectively. RESULTS: Mean of age was 44.2 ± 11.5 years (44.3 ± 11.5 in men and 44.1 ± 11.2 in women) and plasma total cholesterol level was 203.1 ± 41.8 mg/dl. The HC was detected in 49.1% with higher rate in women (57.0%) than men (44.7%). In men at age 25-35 years, the odds ratio was 3.42 (1.60-7.29) in obese group and 1.90 (1.03-3.50) in overweight group compared to normal weight. In women, at age 35-45 years, the risk of HC in obese group was 3.01 (1.58-5.73) and in overweight group it was 2.06 (1.58-5.73), while in men aged 35-45 years the relative risk was 4.03 (2.22-7.34) in overweight and 3.58 (1.77-7.25) in obese group. In women after age 45 years, higher BMI was not a risk factor for HC. CONCLUSION: There was a positive association between BMI and serum cholesterol level. In early middle age, obese individuals were at risk of HC more than overweight subjects. In men, after age 35 years, the risk of HC increased in overweight group while in women there was no statistically significant association between BMI and HC.   Keywords: Serum Cholesterol Level, Adult, Body Mass Index, Gender, Iran