Methods. Correlates of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol are analyzed in a sample of 797 male workers in southern Italy participating in the Olivetti Heart Study. At the univariate level high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations are positively related to alcohol consumption (r = 0.127; P ≤ 0.001) and sport activity (r = 0.074; P ≤ 0.05) and inversely related to body mass index (r = -0.160; P ≤ 0.001), serum triglycerides (r = -0.349; P ≤ 0.001), cigarette smoking (r = -0.227; P ≤ 0.001), and coffee consumption (r = -0.153; P ≤ 0.001). Results. In the group as a whole, body mass index, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and serum triglycerides remain significantly related to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the multivariate model, while the association with coffee intake and sport activity loses statistical significance. A significant negative interaction is reported between physical activity and cigarette smoking, and a positive significant linear trend between high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and sport activity is observed only in nonsmokers. Conclusion. These findings suggest that body mass index, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, serum triglycerides, and sport activity are important correlates of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol but that the positive significant association between sport activity and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol is absent in smokers.
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