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Am J Cardiol. 2015 Mar 1;115(5):557-62. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2014.12.006. Epub 2014 Dec 24.

Relationship between serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and in-hospital mortality following acute myocardial infarction (the lipid paradox).

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F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Basel, Switzerland. Electronic address:
Harbor-University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center, Torrance, California.
Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, California.
ICON Clinical Research, San Francisco, California.


Lipoprotein levels are currently recognized as independent risk factors for long-term cardiovascular events after acute myocardial infarction (AMI). During the acute-phase reaction after AMI, previous studies have reported trends of decreased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), increased triglycerides, and variable high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels. However, the association between LDL-C and HDL-C levels and in-hospital mortality has not been well established following AMI. The relationship between lipid levels and in-hospital all-cause mortality in 115,492 patients hospitalized for AMI (July 2002 to December 2006), registered in the National Registry of Myocardial Infarction (NRMI) 4b-5, was evaluated using multivariable-adjusted logistic regression models. Mean LDL-C was 104 ± 38, HDL-C was 41 ± 14, and triglycerides 143 ± 83 mg/dl. Compared with the lowest quartile of LDL-C (<77 mg/dl), the risk of in-hospital mortality in the second to fourth quartiles was decreased (adjusted odds ratio 0.79, 0.80, and 0.85, respectively). For HDL-C, only those in the lowest quartile (<31 mg/dl) had higher risk of in-hospital mortality (odds ratio 1.20) compared with the highest quartile (≥47 mg/dl). Results from NRMI 4b-5 suggest a lipid paradox, with lower LDL-C levels associated with increased risk of in-hospital mortality, contrary to findings outside the acute setting. Consistent with previous analyses, lowest HDL-C levels were associated with increased in-hospital mortality. In conclusion, further explorations of the relationship between very low levels of LDL-C, myocardial necrosis, and subsequent adverse cardiovascular events are warranted.

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