Background Han is the largest and Zhuang is the second largest among the 56 nationalities in China. Geographically and linguistically, Zhuang can be classified into 43 ethnic subgroups, among which Hei Yi (which means “black worship” and “black dressing”) Zhuang is the most conservative group, according to its unique culture and customs. Little is known about the lipid profiles and corresponding risk factors of hyperlipidemia in this population. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the effects of demographic characteristics, health-related behaviors, and lifestyle factors on the prevalence of hyperlipidemia for the middle-aged and elderly in the Guangxi Hei Yi Zhuang and Han populations.
Methods A sample of 657 people of Hei Yi Zhuang aged 40 years and over was randomly selected from 7 villages in Napo County, Guangxi, China. Information on demographic characteristics, health-related behaviors, and lifestyle factors was collected by questionnaire. Blood pressure, height, weight, waist circumference, and serum lipid and apolipoprotein (apo) levels were measured, and body mass index (BMI) was calculated as a measure of weight relative to height. The results were compared with those in 520 people of Han living in the same region.
Results The prevalence of hyperlipidemia in the Hei Yi Zhuang was significantly lower than that in the Han (36.2% vs 42.3%; p < .05). The levels of total cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and apo B in Hei Yi Zhuang were also significantly lower than those in the Han (p < .05 to .001), but the levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and the ratio of apo A-I to apo B in the Hei Yi Zhuang were significantly higher than those in the Han (p < .01 and < .001, respectively). There were no significant differences in apo A-I levels between the two ethnic groups (p > .05). The prevalence of hyperlipidemia was positively correlated with BMI and blood pressure in the Hei Yi Zhuang. Hyperlipidemia was positively associated with age, BMI, and blood pressure and negatively associated with gender (female higher) in the Han.
Conclusions In the present study of the middle-aged and elderly population, the Hei Yi Zhuang have a more favorable lipid profile and a lower prevalence of hyperlipidemia than do the Han, and there is also a significant difference in the risk factors for hyperlipidemia between the two ethnic groups, which might result from the effects of different demographic characteristics, health-related behaviors, and lifestyle factors.
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