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Am J Cardiol. 2007 Jul 1;100(1):64-8. Epub 2007 May 11.

Utility of non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol versus other lipoprotein measures in detecting subclinical atherosclerosis in young adults (The Bogalusa Heart Study).

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  • 1Tulane Center for Cardiovascular Health, Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.


Direct comparative data on the utility of non-high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol versus low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoprotein (apo) B, apo A-I, ratio to total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol, and ratio of apo B to apo A-I in detecting increased carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), a validated measurement of subclinical atherosclerosis, in asymptomatic younger adults are scant. This aspect was examined in 1,203 black and white subjects (71% white, 43% men) 24 to 43 years of age. In multivariate logistic regression analysis of each lipoprotein measurement (top quartile vs lower 3 quartiles specific for age, race, and gender) for detecting increased carotid IMT (top decile vs lower 9 deciles specific for age, race, and gender), only non-HDL cholesterol, total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol, and apo B emerged as significant correlates with respective odds ratios of 1.75 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.10 to 2.78), 2.02 (95% CI 1.27 to 3.19), and 2.13 (95% CI 1.38 3.29), after adjusting for body mass index, systolic blood pressure, and other lipoprotein measurements. Regarding discriminating values of different lipoprotein measurements in detecting increased carotid IMT, area (c-value) under the receiver operating characteristic curve analysis for each lipoprotein measurement adjusted for age, race, gender, body mass index, and systolic blood pressure indicated that the c-value for non-HDL cholesterol (0.73) was similar to those for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (0.76), total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol (0.72), apo B/apo A-I (0.71), and HDL cholesterol (0.70), but significantly (p <0.001) higher than that for apo A-I (0.69), triglycerides (0.64), and apo B (0.64). In conclusion, non-HDL cholesterol is as good as or better than other widely recommended lipoprotein measurements in the identification of subclinical atherosclerosis in young adults.

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