Published serum cholesterol values in captive western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) are much higher than human ranges, with a national mean of 7.36 mmol/L (284 mg/dl, n = 863). Complete blood lipid profiles were examined in 15 captive gorillas. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) was found to decrease more rapidly with age than total cholesterol, resulting in an increasing ratio of cholesterol HDL with age. The ratio of apolipoprotein B to apolipoprotein A1 also increased with age. Establishment of a database of blood lipid values for captive gorillas with correlative analysis of animals with known atherosclerosis status may help to identify sensitive predictors of coronary heart disease risk.
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Vol. 37 • No. 2