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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2008 Nov;63(11):1235-40.

A prospective study of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, cholesteryl ester transfer protein gene variants, and healthy aging in very old Japanese-american men.

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Pacific Health Research Institute, 846 South Hotel St., Suite 301, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813, USA.



High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) gene deficiency mutations that increase HDL-C levels have been associated with exceptional longevity. However, a recent clinical trial of a promising CETP inhibitor that markedly increases HDL-C was terminated due to increased mortality. In light of this controversy, we examined the relationship among HDL-C, CETP mutations, and longevity phenotypes in the long-lived Japanese-American men of the Honolulu Heart Program (HHP).


Japanese-American men (n = 3562) were followed for up to 8 years, from average age 78 to average age 84 (maximum age 99), or until death. Total mortality, cause-specific mortality, and healthy survival were evaluated for associations with HDL-C level and CETP genetic variants common in the Japanese population (CD442G and Int 14A).


HDL-C was negatively associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality (p =.002) but not related to non-CVD (p =.147) or total (p =.547) mortality after adjustment for common risk factors. There was a trend for lower mortality for the men with the Int 14A variant. These men also had higher HDL-C levels (p =.047) and were significantly more likely to be healthy survivors (absence of six major age-related diseases and high physical/cognitive function) beyond the age of 90 years (p =.005).


Low HDL-C level is a risk factor for CVD mortality in elderly Japanese-American men. High HDL-C and the Int 14A variant of the CETP gene may increase odds for healthy aging.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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