JOURNAL ARTICLE

Predominance of small dense LDL differentiates metabolically unhealthy from metabolically healthy overweight adults in Korea

Sue Kim, Hyangkyu Lee, Duk-Chul Lee, Hye-Sun Lee, Ji-Won Lee
Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental 2014, 63 (3): 415-21
24369917

OBJECTIVE: The purposes of this study were (1) to determine the association between lipoprotein subfraction profiles and metabolically healthy overweight (MHO) phenotype, as defined by visceral adiposity; and (2) to identify the strongest predictor of metabolic health among the lipoprotein measurements.

MATERIALS/METHODS: This cross-sectional study was comprised of 462 overweight patients, who were classified as MHO or non-MHO based on their visceral adipose tissue (VAT) area to subcutaneous adipose tissue area (SAT) ratio (VAT/SAT ratio). Serum lipoprotein subfraction analyses and other metabolic parameters were measured.

RESULTS: Among the overweight participants, two hundred fifty-five individuals (53.7%) had the MHO phenotype. After adjusting for age, sex, medication, lifestyle factors, and confounding metabolic characteristics, the non-MHO group showed significantly higher lipid levels and a greater prevalence of unfavorable lipid profiles. LDL subclass pattern type B was the most significant predictor of the non-MHO phenotype (odds ratio 2.70; 95% CI 1.55-4.69), while serum LDL cholesterol level was not a significant predictor of the non-MHO phenotype.

CONCLUSIONS: Lipoprotein subfraction particle measurements were significantly associated with the non-MHO phenotype and a higher VAT/SAT ratio, with small dense LDL predominance being the most significant predictor of MHO phenotype. These findings will help identify MHO and non-MHO phenotypes and perhaps lead to a development of cost-effective individualized treatments.

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