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Biomarkers. 1997;2(6):373-8. doi: 10.1080/135475097231472.

Plasma oxysterols and angiographically determined coronary atherosclerosis: a case control study.


Several in vitro and in vivo experiments have implicated oxysterols in the aetiology and progression of atherosclerosis. Oxysterols may be formed endogenously by oxidation of cholesterol and thus may form a marker of LDL oxidation. They may also be obtained exogenously through dietary intake. We investigated the association of oxysterols with the degree of coronary stenosis in patients undergoing coronary angiography. Cases with severe coronary atherosclerosis 80 stenosis in one of the major coronary vessels, n =80 were compared with controls with no or minor stenosis 50 stenosis in all three major coronary vessels, n =79 . Cases and controls were prestratified on age, gender and smoking habits. Evaluated were plasma levels of unesterified 7 hydroxycholesterol, 7 hydroxycholesterol, 25 hydroxycholesterol, 7 ketocholesterol, cholestane triol and 5,6 epoxycholestanol. 7 Hydroxycholesterol made up 67 of the total amount of plasma oxysterol concentration and was the only one significantly higher in cases 1.53 mu g per 100 ml vs 1.27 mu g per 100 ml, p 0.05 . Further, cases had somewhat higher LDL cholesterol levels and significantly lower HDL cholesterol levels than controls. After multivariate adjustment to account for this difference in lipid levels and for the prestratification factors the mean difference between cases and controls for 7 hydroxycholesterol 0.14 mu g per 100 ml was no longer significant. Also the other oxysterols showed no significant association with the degree of coronary stenosis. Multiple logistic regression analyses showed an adjusted odds ratio of 1.07 95 CI, 0.45-2.59 in the highest tertile of total plasma oxysterol level. We conclude, that this study does not support the hypothesis that plasma oxysterols form an additional risk factor for coronary atherosclerosis.


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