Relationship of Serum Cholesterol and Triglycerides Levels with the Body Mass Index in a Group of Healthy Undergraduates


  • Dharmapriya W.L.G.U.B.N. National Hospital, Kandy, Sri Lanka
  • Bandara W.V.R.T.D.G Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Ruhuna



Introduction: Knowledge about the relationship between Body Mass Index (BMI) and serum lipid levels is important in detecting the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The present study assessed the correlations of serum total cholesterol and triglyceride levels with BMI in a group of healthy undergraduates. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 104 students of the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Ruhuna. Serum total cholesterol and triglyceride levels of fasting blood samples were measured using enzymatic kits. Students’ heights and weights were measured, and BMI values were calculated. Information regarding students’ dietary habits, lifestyle and family history of diseases related to dyslipidemia was collected using a pre-tested and self-administered questionnaire. Data were analyzed using SPSS-20.0. Results: Mean (±SD) serum total cholesterol and triglyceride levels of the samples were 191.34±36.13 mg/dL and 116.25±59.9 mg/dL, respectively. The mean BMI was 22.48±3.59kg/m2. The total population had significant positive correlations between; BMI and total cholesterol level (r=0.23, p=0.017), and BMI and triglyceride level (r=0.42, p<0.001). There was no significant correlation between BMI and cholesterol levels in male students (p=0.800) but, a significant positive correlation was found between triglyceride levels and BMI of them (p=0.017). Among female students, significant positive correlations with BMI were observed for both cholesterol (p=0.005) and triglyceride (p=0.002) levels. Family history of dyslipidemia related disease conditions showed a significant effect on the elevation of serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels of the students. Although there was no significant difference, the highest serum lipid levels were detected among students who consumed eggs more than once a day. Conclusions: Significant positive correlations were found between BMI and both serum total cholesterol and triglycerides levels in female students. Among the male students, there was a significant positive correlation between BMI and triglycerides, and no correlation between BMI and cholesterol levels.

Keywords: Body mass index, Cholesterol, Correlation, Triglyceride, Undergraduates