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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 Nov 13;60(20):2041-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2012.07.045. Epub 2012 Oct 17.

Genetic inhibition of CETP, ischemic vascular disease and mortality, and possible adverse effects.

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Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.



This study tested whether genetic variation in the CETP gene is consistent with a protective effect of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibition on risk of ischemic events and on total mortality, without the adverse effects reported for torcetrapib.


Torcetrapib, an inhibitor of CETP, increased risk of death and ischemic cardiovascular disease of those randomized to the drug, despite improving the lipid profile.


The Copenhagen City Heart Study is a prospective cohort study of 10,261 individuals, aged 20 to 93 years, who were followed for up to 34 years (1976 to 2010). Of these, 2,087 developed ischemic heart disease, 1,064 developed ischemic cerebrovascular disease, and 3,807 died during follow-up. We selected 2 common genetic variants in CETP previously associated with reductions in CETP activity, thus mimicking the effect of pharmacological CETP inhibition.


In individuals carrying 4 versus 0 high-density lipoprotein cholesterol-increasing alleles, there was an increase in levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol of up to 14% (0.2 mmol/l), and concomitant decreases in triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol of, respectively, 6% (0.1 mmol/l), 3% (0.1 mmol/l), and 4% (0.2 mmol/l) (p for trend 0.004 to <0.001). Corresponding hazard ratios were 0.76 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.68 to 0.85) for any ischemic vascular event, 0.74 (95% CI: 0.65 to 0.85) for ischemic heart disease, 0.65 (95% CI: 0.54 to 0.79) for myocardial infarction, 0.77 (95% CI: 0.65 to 0.93) for ischemic cerebrovascular disease, 0.71 (95% CI: 0.58 to 0.88) for ischemic stroke, and 0.88 (95% CI: 0.80 to 0.97) for total mortality. CETP genotypes did not associate with variation in markers of possible side effects previously reported for torcetrapib.


Genetic CETP inhibition associates with reductions in risk of ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction, ischemic cerebrovascular disease, and ischemic stroke, with a corresponding antiatherogenic lipid profile, and with increased longevity, without adverse effects.

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