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Hypertension. 2008 Sep;52(3):535-41. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.108.114439. Epub 2008 Jul 28.

Oxidized low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is associated with decreases in cardiac function independent of vascular alterations.

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  • 1Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.


In contrast to the plethora of vasculopathies to which oxidized low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (ox-LDL) can be linked, there are no data linking ox-LDL to myocardial (dys)function in the community. We tested whether ox-LDL, a marker of oxidative stress, was linked to early cardiac structural and functional damage in the general population. The Asklepios Study is a random sample of 2524 male and female volunteers, comparable to the Belgian population between 35 and 55 years free from overt cardiovascular disease. Cardiac morphology, systolic, and early and late diastolic tissue Doppler mitral annulus velocities were recorded during an echocardiography, followed by a vascular examination (carotid and femoral arteries). Serum ox-LDL was measured by sandwich ELISA using the mAb-4E6 monoclonal antibody. Effects of ox-LDL were assessed after adjustment for age, gender, lipid fractions, blood pressure, heart rate, height, weight, glycemia, smoking, and drug treatment. Mean ox-LDL was 96.0+/-38.9 U/L. After adjustment, increasing ox-LDL levels were associated with a more spherical left ventricular cavity (minor/major axis dimensions; P<0.001) and decreasing diastolic (early diastolic tissue Doppler mitral annulus velocity; P<0.001, more pronounced in women) and systolic function (amplitude of systolic tissue Doppler mitral annulus velocity; P=0.008, more pronounced in men). These results remained unaffected when further adjustments were made for inflammatory markers, lifestyle, or vascular damage (atherosclerosis and arterial stiffening). These results are the first "proof of concept" that ox-LDL impacts cardiac structure and function at a community level, independent of classic risk factors, lifestyle, inflammation, and prevalent vascular damage. Our data suggest that ox-LDL is a risk marker for early ventricular remodelling. However, the effect size in the general population is small.

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