Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 137–140

Inverse association of serum cholesterol with plasma insulin in the elderly. Cross-sectional and prospective analyses


  • O. Lindberg
    • Division of Geriatrics, Department of MedicineUniversity of Helsinki
  • R. S. Tilvis
    • Division of Geriatrics, Department of MedicineUniversity of Helsinki
  • T. E. Strandberg
    • Division of Geriatrics, Department of MedicineUniversity of Helsinki
  • A. Lehtonen
    • Turku City Hospital
  • C. Ehnholm
    • National Public Health Institute
  • J. Tuomilehto
    • National Public Health Institute
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF03339648

Cite this article as:
Lindberg, O., Tilvis, R.S., Strandberg, T.E. et al. Aging Clin Exp Res (1998) 10: 137. doi:10.1007/BF03339648


Cross-sectional studies have suggested that high plasma insulin is associated with relatively low levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol. The present study was aimed at re-testing this association in a 70-year-old age cohort (N=1023), and testing whether it could be caused by excessive mortality of hyperinsulinemic subjects with high LDL-cholesterol. A reverse U-shaped association between LDL-cholesterol and fasting plasma insulin was confirmed. LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and total cholesterol were lowest in the highest insulin quarter. These associations remained after adjustment for diabetes, obesity and general health status. The combination of high LDL-cholesterol (>4.25 mmol/L, 75th percentile) and high insulin (>10 IU/L, 50th percentile) was not associated with excess 5-year mortality in this age cohort. Nor was it associated with excess mortality in four other elderly age cohorts (N=1188), in which similar associations of cholesterol and insulin have been demonstrated. Thus, the inverse association of LDL-cholesterol with fasting insulin in the elderly is not caused by selective over mortality.

Key words

Cholesterolelderlyinsulinlipidsmortalityrisk factors

Copyright information

© Springer Internal Publishing Switzerland 1998