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Clin Sci (Lond). 2008 Nov;115(9):265-71. doi: 10.1042/CS20070360.

Adult-type hypolactasia is not a predisposing factor for the early functional and structural changes of atherosclerosis: the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study.

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Laboratory of Atherosclerosis Genetics, Department of Clinical Chemistry, Tampere University Hospital and the Medical School at the University of Tampere, 33014 Tampere, Finland.


Individuals suffering from ATH (adult-type hypolactasia), defined by the LCT (gene encoding lactase-phlorizin hydrolase) C/C(-13910) genotype (rs4988235), use less milk and dairy products and may have higher plasma HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and lower triacylglycerol (triglyceride) concentrations than their counterparts without ATH. To investigate the effects of ATH status on the early markers of atherosclerosis, we examined its association with CIMT (carotid intima-media thickness), CAC (carotid artery compliance) and brachial artery FMD (flow-mediated dilation) in a young population-based cohort of otherwise healthy individuals. As part of the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study, we performed CIMT, CAC and FMD analyses, LCT C/T(-13910) genotyping and risk factor determination in 2109 young subjects 24-39 years of age (45% males) at the time of the examination. The consumption of both milk and dairy products was lowest and the consumption of alcohol highest in subjects with the C/C(-13910) genotype (P<0.001 for all) in comparison with subjects without ATH (TT+CT). In multivariate analysis, no significant association between ATH status and CIMT, CAC or brachial artery FMD was found after adjustment for the use of alcohol, dairy products and all other major risk factors of coronary artery disease. In otherwise similar statistical analysis, the results remained non-significant when females and males were analysed in their own groups. In conclusion, the finding does not support the involvement of ATH in the pathogenesis of early atherosclerosis.

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