High-density lipoprotein cholesterol and objective measures of lower extremity performance in older nondisabled persons: The InChianti study

Stefano Volpato, Alessandro Ble, E. Jeffrey Metter, Fulvio Lauretani, Stefania Bandinelli, Giovanni Zuliani, Renato Fellin, Luigi Ferrucci, Jack M. Guralnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the independent association between high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels and objective measures of lower extremity performance. DESIGN: Cross-sectional cohort study. SETTING: Community-based. PARTICIPANTS: Eight hundred thirty-six nondisabled women and men aged 65 and older enrolled in the Invecchiare in Chianti study. MESASUREMENTS: Lower extremity performance was assessed using 4-m walking speed at fast pace, 400-m walking speed, and knee extension torque. Fasting HDL-C levels were determined using commercial enzymatic tests. RESULTS: The mean age of participants was 73.7 (65-92), and 55.6% were women. After adjusting for potential confounders (sociodemographic factors, smoking, physical activity, body composition, and clinical conditions including cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, inflammatory markers, and serum testosterone) HDL-C levels were significantly associated with knee extension torque in men and women and with 4-m and 400-m walking speed in men. Men in the highest tertile of the HDL-C distribution (>55 mg/dL) had, on average, a three times greater probability of belonging to the best tertile of all indexes of lower extremity performance, including 4-m fast walking speed (odds ratio (OR)=2.57, 95%=confidence interval (CI)=1.07-6.17), 400-m walking speed (OR=3.74, 95% CI=1.20-11.7), and knee extension torque (OR=3.63, 95%=CI 1.41-9.33). Path analysis suggested a direct relationship between HDL-C and knee extension torque. CONCLUSION: In older nondisabled persons, HDL-C levels are highly correlated with knee extension torque and walking speed. Further research should focus on the biological mechanism of this association.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-629
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Cytokines
  • Disablement process
  • HDL-C
  • Strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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