Relation Among Lipoprotein Subfractions and Carotid Atherosclerosis in Alaskan Eskimos (from the GOCADAN Study)
Carotid Artery Diseases
Studies have been inconsistent regarding whether lipoprotein particle subfraction measures are useful indicators of cardiovascular risk. The present study evaluated the relation between lipoprotein particle concentrations and size, analyzed using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and measures of carotid atherosclerosis in a population with high cardiovascular risk but little hyperlipidemia. In this cross-sectional, population-based sample of Alaska Eskimos >or=35 years old (n = 656), a greater carotid intimal medial thickness was associated with greater low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (p = 0.03) and total LDL particle concentration (p = 0.04), independently of other traditional risk factors. The effects of LDL cholesterol and LDL particle concentration on intimal medial thickness were additive (p = 0.015). Carotid plaque was associated with greater levels of LDL cholesterol (p = 0.01), greater concentrations of large LDL particles (p = 0.003), and a reduction in the size of the very-low-density lipoprotein particles (p = 0.03). The effects of LDL cholesterol and large LDL particles on the plaque score were additive. In conclusion, the carotid intimal medial thickness was associated with greater LDL particle concentrations. The association was strongest in those with greater LDL cholesterol levels. Plaque was associated with greater concentrations of LDL cholesterol, large LDL particles, and smaller very-low-density lipoprotein particles. It might be beneficial to determine the lipoprotein subfractions in populations with little hyperlipidemia.