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Skeletal Muscle Mass is Associated with HDL Cholesterol Levels and the Ratio of LDL to HDL Cholesterol in Young Men: A Pilot Study

  • Minje Ji1
  • Yeonhwi Kim1
  • Sewon Lee2,3,4,*,

1Department of Human Movement Science, Graduate School, Incheon National University, 22012 Incheon, Republic of Korea

2Division of Sport Science, College of Arts & Physical Education, Incheon National University, 22012 Incheon, Republic of Korea

3Sport Science Institute, College of Arts & Physical Education, Incheon National University, 22012 Incheon, Republic of Korea

4Health Promotion Center, College of Arts & Physical Education, Incheon National University, 22012 Incheon, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.31083/j.jomh1808171 Vol.18,Issue 8,August 2022 pp.1-9

Published: 31 August 2022

*Corresponding Author(s): Sewon Lee E-mail:


Background: It is unclear whether greater skeletal muscle mass is beneficial for improving cardiometabolic health in young individuals. Our purpose was to investigate the association between skeletal muscle mass and cardiometabolic risk factors in young males. Methods: Data were collected from thirty-seven young males (23.2 ± 0.3 years). Participants were categorized based on skeletal muscle mass (skeletal muscle index-percentile score, SMI-PS) assessed by bioelectrical impedance analysis. They were divided into two group: standard skeletal muscle mass group (SMG, n = 17, SMI-PS = 102.2 ± 1.0%), high skeletal muscle mass group (HMG, n = 20, SMI-PS = 120.5 ± 1.8%). Arterial stiffness assessed by brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) and blood parameters including high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), fasting glucose (FG) and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) were assessed. Results: The level of HDL-C in HMG was significantly higher compared to SMG (p < 0.001), whereas the ratio of LDL-C to HDL-C in HMG was significantly lower compared to SMG (p < 0.001). However, no changes in baPWV, TC, LDL-C, TG, FG, and HbA1c were found between groups. Interestingly, there was a positive correlation between SMI-PS and HDL-C (r = 0.469, p = 0.003), whereas there was a negative correlation between SMI-PS and LDL-C/HDL-C (r = –0.38, p = 0.02). Conclusions: This study suggests that an increase in skeletal muscle mass may have an additive benefit on improving lipid components through the increased HDL-C level and decreased the ratio of LDL-C to HDL-C in young men.


skeletal muscle; cardiometabolic risk factor; HDL cholesterol; LDL cholesterol; arterial stiffness

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Minje Ji,Yeonhwi Kim,Sewon Lee. Skeletal Muscle Mass is Associated with HDL Cholesterol Levels and the Ratio of LDL to HDL Cholesterol in Young Men: A Pilot Study. Journal of Men's Health. 2022. 18(8);1-9.


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