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J Lipid Res. 2009 Feb;50(2):342-9. doi: 10.1194/jlr.P800030-JLR200. Epub 2008 Sep 18.

Circulating oxidized LDL: determinants and association with brachial flow-mediated dilation.

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Metabolic Laboratory, Department of Clinical Chemistry, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Circulating oxidized LDL (oxLDL) levels are strongly correlated to LDL-cholesterol (LDL-c) and apolipoprotein-B100 (apoB100), making it difficult to disentangle their independent contributions to cardiovascular risk. We explored the determinants of oxLDL and the relation between oxLDL and flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery to investigate whether the oxLDL/LDL-c and oxLDL/apoB100 ratios are more informative than the separate variables. FMD of the brachial artery and plasma concentrations of oxLDL, LDL-cholesterol, and apoB100 were measured in 624 men and women (age range 50 to 87 years), participating in a population-based cohort study. OxLDL was strongly correlated with apoB100 (r = 0.82, P < 0.001) and LDL-c (r = 0.67, P < 0.001). Other major independent determinants of oxLDL were sex, HDL-cholesterol, and LDL particle size. LDL-c and apoB100 concentrations were not significantly associated with FMD. After adjustment for age, sex, glucose tolerance status, and Framingham risk score, the oxLDL/apoB100 ratio was negatively related to FMD (P = 0.017). This association was weaker for the oxLDL/ LDL-c ratio (P = 0.062) and absent for oxLDL level (P = 0.27). In contrast to oxLDL, the oxLDL/apoB100 ratio, and to a lesser extent the oxLDL/LDL-c ratio, are related to a functional measure of atherosclerosis. Therefore correction of oxLDL for LDL particle number may improve the clinical usefulness of oxLDL measurement.

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