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Am J Cardiol. 1998 Nov 5;82(9A):13Q-21Q.

The antiatherogenic role of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

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1
Johns Hopkins University Lipid Clinic, and Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University Medical School, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

Landmark clinical studies in the past 5 years that demonstrated diminished mortality and first coronary events following lowering of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol stimulated considerable interest in the medical community. Yet, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which transports circulating cholesterol to the liver for clearance, clearly also exerts antiatherogenic effects. The Framingham Heart Study produced compelling epidemiologic evidence indicating that a low level of HDL cholesterol was an independent predictor of coronary artery disease (CAD). Emerging experimental and clinical findings are, collectively, now furnishing a solid scientific foundation for this relation. First, the reverse cholesterol transport pathway--including the roles of nascent (pre-beta) HDL, apolipoprotein A-I, lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT), cholesteryl ester transport protein, and hepatic uptake of cholesteryl ester from HDL by liver--is better understood. For example, the identification of a hepatic HDL receptor, SR-BI, suggests a mechanism of delivery of cholesteryl ester to liver that differs from the receptor-mediated uptake of LDL. Second, apolipoprotein A-I, the major protein component of HDL, and 2 enzymes on HDL, paraoxonase and platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase appear to diminish the formation of the highly atherogenic oxidized LDL. Third, lower levels of HDL cholesterol are associated in a dose-response fashion with the severity and number of angiographically documented atherosclerotic coronary arteries. Fourth, low HDL cholesterol predicts total mortality in patients with CAD and desirable total cholesterol levels (<200 mg/dL). Fifth, low HDL cholesterol concentrations appear to be associated with increased rates of restenosis after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty. In terms of elevating HDL cholesterol, cessation of cigarette smoking, reduction to ideal body weight, and regular aerobic exercise all appear important. Most medications used to treat dyslipidemias will raise HDL cholesterol levels modestly; however, niacin appears to have the greatest potential to do so, and can increase HDL cholesterol up to 30%. Recognizing these data, the most recent report of the National Cholesterol Education Program identified low HDL cholesterol as a CAD risk factor and recommended that all healthy adults be screened for both total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol levels.

PMID:
9819099
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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