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Atherosclerosis. 2008 Jul;199(1):110-5. Epub 2007 Dec 3.

Influence of race and sex on lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 levels: observations from the Dallas Heart Study.

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  • 1The Donald W. Reynolds Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX, United States.



Most lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) studies included mainly white men. We sought to determine whether Lp-PLA2 levels differ according to race and sex.


Lp-PLA2 mass and activity were measured in 3332 subjects age 30-65 participating in the Dallas Heart Study, a multiethnic, population-based, probability sample. Lp-PLA2 levels were compared between different race and sex groups.


Mean age was 45+/-9 years and 44% were men; 30% were white, 17% hispanic, and 53% black. Mean Lp-PLA2 activity and mass were 146+/-40 nmol/min/mL and 191+/-60 ng/mL, respectively. Lp-PLA2 activity was lower in women compared with men (134+/-35 vs. 161+/-40, p=0.001) and was lowest in black (136+/-38), intermediate in hispanic (151+/-36), and highest in white subjects (161+/-39) (trend p=0.0001). In multivariable linear regression models, after adjusting for age, body mass index (BMI), smoking, total, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), Lp-PLA2 activity was 19 nmol/min/mL higher in men vs. women (p<0.001); compared with black subjects, adjusted Lp-PLA2 activity was 11 and 20 nmol/min/mL higher in white and hispanic subjects, respectively (both p<0.001). Similar race and sex differences were observed for Lp-PLA2 mass.


Race and sex independently influence Lp-PLA2 activity and mass. Thresholds to define Lp-PLA2 elevation may need to be sex and race specific.

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