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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol versus low density lipoprotein cholesterol as a discriminating factor for myocardial infarction

Manoj Sigdel1*, Binod Kumar Yadav2, Prajwal Gyawali3, Prashant Regmi4, Sushil Baral5, Shyam Raj Regmi2 and Bharat Jha6

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biochemistry, Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara, Nepal

2 Shahid Gangalal National Heart Centre, Bansbari, Kathmandu, Nepal

3 Charles Sturt University, New South Wales, 2640, Australia

4 Yeti Institute of Health Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal

5 Department of Biochemistry, Nepal Medical College, Kathmandu, Nepal

6 Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Medicine, Kathmandu, Nepal

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:640  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-640

Published: 17 November 2012



Serum total cholesterol (TC) and LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) have been used as major laboratory measures in clinical practice to assess cardiovascular risk in the general population and disease management as well as prognosis in patients. However, some studies have also reported the use of non-HDL cholesterol (non-HDL-C). As non-HDL-C can be calculated by subtracting HDL-C from TC, both of which do not require fasting blood sample in contrast to LDL-C which requires fasting blood sample, we aimed to compare non-HDL-C with LDL-C as a predictor of myocardial infarction (MI).


This hospital based cross sectional study was undertaken among 51 cases of MI and equal number of controls. MI was diagnosed based on the clinical history, ECG changes and biochemical parameters. 5 mL of fasting blood sample was collected from each research participant for the analysis of lipid profile. Non-HDL-C was calculated by using the equation; Non-HDL-C = TC – HDL-C. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 14.0.


42 MI cases were dyslipidemic in contrast to 20 dyslipidemic subjects under control group. The differences in the median values of each lipid parameter were statistically significant between MI cases and controls. The lipid risk factors most strongly associated with MI were HDL-C (OR 5.85, 95% CI 2.41-14.23, P value = 0.000) followed by non-HDL-C (OR 3.77, 95% CI 1.64-8.66, P value = 0.002), LDL-C/HDL-C (OR 3.38, 95% CI 1.44-7.89, P value = 0.005), TC/HDL-C (OR 2.93, 95% CI 1.36-7.56, P value = 0.026), LDL-C (OR 2.70, 95% CI 1.20-6.10, P value = 0.017), TC (OR 2.68, 95% CI 1.04-6.97, P value = 0.042) and Tg (OR 2.54, 95% CI 1.01-6.39, P value = 0.047). Area under the receiver operating curve was greater for non-HDL-C than for LDL-C. Non-HDL-C was also found to be more sensitive and specific than LDL-C for MI.


HDL-C and non-HDL-C are better discriminating parameters than LDL-C for MI. Thus, we can simply perform test for HDL-C and non-HDL-C both of which do not require fasting blood sample rather than waiting for fasting blood sample to measure LDL-C.

Dyslipidemia; LDL cholesterol; Myocardial infarction; non-HDL cholesterol