The Global Burden of Diseases attributed to high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol from 1990 to 2019


To demonstrate the real-word situation of burdens that are attributed to the risk factor of high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) at the global, regional, national levels, among different age groups and between genders.


We analyzed data from the Global Burden of Disease study 2019 related to global deaths, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), summary exposure value (SEV), average annual percentage change (AAPC), and observed to expected ratios (O/E ratios) attributable to high LDL-C from 1990 to 2019.


Globally, in 2019, the total numbers of deaths and DALYs attributed to high LDL cholesterol were 1.47 and 1.41 times higher than that in 1990. The age-standardized deaths and DALYs rate was 1.45 and 1.70 times in males compared to females, while the age-standardized SEVs rate was 1.10 times in females compared to males. The deaths, DALYs, and SEV rates increased with age. In 2019, the highest age-standardized rates of both deaths and DALYs occurred in Eastern Europe while the lowest occurred in high-income Asia Pacific. High-income North America experienced a dramatic reduction of risk related to high LDL-C. Correlation analysis identified that the age-standardized SEV rate was positively correlated with Socio-demographic Index (SDI; r = 0.7753, P < 0.001). The average annual percentage change (AAPC) of age-standardized SEV rate decreased in the high SDI and high-middle SDI regions but increased in the middle SDI, low-middle SDI, and low SDI regions. High LDL-C mainly contributed to ischemic heart diseases.


High LDL-C contributed considerably to health burden worldwide. Males suffered worse health outcomes attributed to high LDL-C when compared to females. The burden attributed to high LDL-C increased with age. Lower SDI regions and countries experienced more health problem challenges attributed to high LDL-C as the result of social development and this should be reflected in policymaking.


Global Burden of Disease; cardiovascular disease; cholesterol; disability-adjusted life years; low-density lipoproteins.

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