Atherogenic index of plasma as useful predictor of cardiovascular risk among postmenopausal women in Enugu, Nigeria
Background: Menopausal health in our environment has received little attention. As an independent risk factor for dyslipidaemia, the degree and pattern of derangement, though difficult to assess may adversely affect the cardiovascular health of our women.
Objectives: To estimate the serum lipid profile and the atherogenic index of plasma in normal post menopausal women.
Methods: This is a cross sectional study involving 80 apparently healthy women voluntarily recruited from staff of the University of Nigeria and the Teaching Hospital (UNTH) located in Enugu. They include 50 postmenopausal subjects aged between 50 and 70 years and 30 premenopausal controls aged between 25 and 49 years. Total cholesterol (TC), and the various subfractions ;high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides (TG) were determined. Atherogenic index of plasma (AIP); log (TG/HDL-C) was calculated.
Results: There were statistically significant increases (P< 0.0001) in TC, TG, LDL-C, VLDL-C and AIP but a statistically significant decrease (P<0.0001) in HDL-C in postmenopausal women when compared with the premenopausal subjects. Except HDL-C that showed insignificant reduction, there were statistically significant derangement of other lipid subfractions
as the duration of menopause increased.
Conclusion: Menopause, no doubt alters lipid profile. A triglyceride based index (AIP) can significantly add value when assessing the risk of developing atherosclerosis in Nigeria.
Key Words: Lipid profile, atherogenic index of plasma (AIP), postmenopausal women, dyslipidaemia, atherosclerosis
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