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JAMA. 1998 Jun 24;279(24):1955-61.

Fasting insulin and apolipoprotein B levels and low-density lipoprotein particle size as risk factors for ischemic heart disease.

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Lipid Research Center, Laval University Hospital Research Center, Ste-Foy, Québec, Canada.



Epidemiological studies have established a relationship between cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) concentrations and the risk of ischemic heart disease (IHD), but up to half of patients with IHD may have cholesterol levels in the normal range.


To assess the ability to predict the risk of IHD using a cluster of nontraditional metabolic risk factors that includes elevated fasting insulin and apolipoprotein B levels as well as small, dense LDL particles.


Nested case-control study.


Cases and controls were identified from the population-based cohort of the Quebec Cardiovascular Study, a prospective study conducted in men free of IHD in 1985 and followed up for 5 years.


Incident IHD cases were matched with controls selected from among the sample of men who remained IHD free during follow-up. Matching variables were age, smoking habits, body mass index, and alcohol consumption. The sample included 85 complete pairs of nondiabetic IHD cases and controls.


Ability of fasting insulin level, apolipoprotein B level, and LDL particle diameter to predict IHD events, defined as angina, coronary insufficiency, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and coronary death.


The risk of IHD was significantly increased in men who had elevated fasting plasma insulin and apolipoprotein B levels and small, dense LDL particles, compared with men who had normal levels for 2 of these 3 risk factors (odds ratio [OR], 5.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3-15.4). Multivariate adjustment for LDL-C, triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) did not attenuate the relationship between the cluster of nontraditional risk factors and IHD (OR, 5.2; 95% CI, 1.7-15.7). On the other hand, the risk of IHD in men having a combination of elevated LDL-C and triglyceride levels and reduced HDL-C levels was no longer significant (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 0.5-3.5) after multivariate adjustment for fasting plasma insulin level, apolipoprotein B level, and LDL particle size.


Results from this prospective study suggest that the measurement of fasting plasma insulin level, apolipoprotein B level, and LDL particle size may provide further information on the risk of IHD compared with the information provided by conventional lipid variables.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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