UBC Theses and Dissertations
The relationship of nutritional practices and related demographic variables Scott, Elaine Marion
At the present time, cardiovascular disease is a major public health problem in Canada, taking the lives of 78,000 Canadians each year. One of the important risk factors implicated in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease is hyperlipoproteinemia. Factors which have been implicated in the etiology of hyperlipoproteinemia include nutritional practices and related demographic variables such as excess body weight, lack of physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, abnormal carbohydrate metabolism and family history of heart disease. Although all of the factors cited here have been investigated and their role in the development of hyperlipoproteinemia reported in the literature, the importance of the interrelationship among the individual factors has frequently been overlooked. Also the relationship of these factors to the presence of hyperlipoproteinemia in many cases is poorly understood. A study was designed to investigate the relationship of nutritional practices and related demographic variables to the presence of hyperlipoproteinemia in males aged thirty to sixty years who were admitted to St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, for cardiac catheterization. The criterion variables measured in the study were the fasting serum triglyceride level and fasting serum cholesterol level. The variates were categorized as nutritional practices, demographic factors and anthropometric measurements. Nutritional practices included sucrose as percent of total carbohydrate, starch as percent of carbohydrate, P:S ratio, total caloric intake, fat as percent of total calories and alcohol as percent of total calories. The nature of the relationship between the criterion variables and the variates, and amongst the variates themselves, were investigated. Results are based on interviews conducted with 64 subjects between March 1 and October 16, 1975. Sixty-four percent of the subjects exhibited a serum triglyceride level beyond the range accepted as normal by St. Paul's Hospital laboratory while only 3% had abnormally high serum cholesterol levels. The Pearson product moment correlation coefficient revealed a significant correlation between the serum triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations at the 0.002 level of significance. Analysis of t-distribution showed no significant correlation between the presence of hyperlipoproteinemia and the consumption of sucrose as percent of total carbohydrate, starch as percent of total carbohydrate, fat as percent of total calories, alcohol as percent of total calories or P:S ratio. Similarly, the Pearson product moment correlation coefficient failed to show a significant correlation between caloric intake and the presence of hyperlipoproteinemia at the 0.05 level of significance. However, both physical activity and ponderal index were significant factors by t-test analysis, indicating the relationship of both overweight and inactivity to the presence of hyperlipoproteinemia. In addition, correlation analysis revealed a positive correlation between fasting blood glucose and the presence of hyperlipoproteinemia. No correlation was observed with age or smoking and the presence of hyperlipoproteinemia. Implications relative to evaluation of the atherogenic status of an individual and possible reduction of the incidence of hyperlipoproteinemia became apparent from the interpretation of the findings of this study.
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