This study investigated the blood lipid levels of 5921 Chinese adults aged >18 years using data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey 2009. Diet information was collected through 3 day, 24 h recalls by trained professionals. The low-carbohydrate diet (LCD) score was determined according to the percentage of energy obtained from carbohydrate, protein, and fat consumption. Dyslipidemia was defined when one or more of the following abnormal lipid levels were observed: high cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels, and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Multivariate adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated using logistic regression models. After adjusting the confounding variables, in males, the OR of hypercholesterolemia was 1.87 (95% CI, 1.23–2.85; p
for trend = 0.0017) and the OR of hypertriglyceridemia was 1.47 (95% CI, 1.04–2.06; p
for trend = 0.0336), on comparing the highest and lowest quartiles of the LCD score. The animal-based LCD score showed a similar trend. The OR of hypercholesterolemia was 2.15 (95% CI, 1.41–3.29; p
for trend = 0.0006) and the OR of hypertriglyceridemia was 1.51 (95% CI, 1.09–2.10; p
for trend = 0.0156). However, there was no significant difference between plant-based LCD scores and dyslipidemia. In females, lipid profiles did not differ much among the quartiles of LCD scores—only the animal-based LCD score was statistically significant with hypercholesterolemia. The OR of hypercholesterolemia was 1.64 (95% CI, 1.06–2.55), on comparing the highest and lowest quartiles of the LCD score. In conclusion, a higher LCD score, indicating lower carbohydrate intake and higher fat intake, especially animal-based fat, was significantly associated with higher odds of hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia in Chinese males. Future studies investigating the potential mechanisms by which macronutrient types and sex hormones affect lipid metabolism are required.
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