Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 is an independent predictor of incident coronary heart disease in an apparently healthy older population: the Rancho Bernardo Study

Lori B Daniels, Gail A Laughlin, Mark J Sarno, Ricki Bettencourt, Robert L Wolfert, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2008 March 4, 51 (9): 913-9

OBJECTIVES: Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) levels predict incident coronary heart disease (CHD) in adults without known CHD, independent of heart disease risk factors. We examined whether the independent association was apparent in older adults.

BACKGROUND: Serum levels of Lp-PLA2, an enzyme that hydrolyzes oxidized phospholipids to yield potentially proatherogenic particles, have been associated with CHD and may help predict cardiovascular risk.

METHODS: Participants were 1,077 community-dwelling men and women, median age 72 years, who had no known CHD at baseline (1984 to 1987) when blood samples and risk factor data were collected. Participants were followed for CHD events for a mean of 16 years, through 2002. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to examine the association of serum Lp-PLA2 with incident CHD (myocardial infarction, angina, or coronary revascularization).

RESULTS: The Lp-PLA2 levels positively correlated with age (r = 0.09), body mass index (r = 0.11), low-density lipoprotein (r = 0.37), triglycerides (r = 0.25), and C-reactive protein (r = 0.10), and negatively correlated with high-density lipoprotein (r = -0.27) (all p < 0.05). During follow-up, 228 participants had incident CHD events. Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 levels in the second, third, and fourth quartiles predicted an increased risk of CHD compared with the lowest quartile (hazard ratios 1.66, 1.80, and 1.89, respectively; p < 0.05 for each). This association persisted after adjusting for C-reactive protein and other CHD risk factors.

CONCLUSIONS: Elevated Lp-PLA2 levels predict CHD events in apparently healthy older adults, independent of CHD risk factors.

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