In order to examine the genetic variance and heritability of serum total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides, a total of 349 pairs of same-sexed twin neonates born in four major general teaching hospitals in Taipei City were studied. Based on the placental pattern and 12 red blood cell antigens, 271 monozygotic (MZ) and 78 dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs were identified. There was a significant genetic variance for total cholesterol, HDL-C, LDL-C, and triglycerides both unadjusted and adjusted for sex, gestational age and placentation. The unadjusted heritability of total cholesterol, HDL-C, LDL-C, and triglycerides was 0.59, 0.30, 0.25 and 0.75, respectively; while the corresponding adjusted heritability was 0.74, 0.38, 0.31, and 0.49, respectively. Intrapair variance of serum lipids was not significantly different between monochorionic and dichorionic MZ twins.
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