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J Lipids. 2011;2011:549137. doi: 10.1155/2011/549137. Epub 2011 Jul 5.

LDL-C/HDL-C Ratio Predicts Carotid Intima-Media Thickness Progression Better Than HDL-C or LDL-C Alone.

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Division of Cardio-Vascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume 830-0011, Japan.


High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) are strong predictors of atherosclerosis. Statin-induced changes in the ratio of LDL-C to HDL-C (LDL-C/HDL-C) predicted atherosclerosis progression better than LDL-C or HDL-C alone. However, the best predictor of subclinical atherosclerosis remains unknown. Our objective was to investigate this issue by measuring changes in carotid intima-media thickness (IMT). A total of 1,920 subjects received health examinations in 1999, and were followed up in 2007. Changes in IMT (follow-up IMT/baseline IMT × 100) were measured by ultrasonography. Our results showed that changes in IMT after eight years were significantly related to HDL-C (inversely, P < 0.05) and to LDL-C/HDL-C ratio (P < 0.05). When the LDL-C/HDL-C ratios were divided into quartiles, analysis of covariance showed that increases in the ratio were related to IMT progression (P < 0.05). This prospective study demonstrated the LDL-C/HDL-C ratio is a better predictor of IMT progression than HDL-C or LDL-C alone.

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