Dyslipidemia in hypertensive sibships may be characterized by atherogenic small low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles. Whether LDL particle size is associated with the extent of coronary atherosclerosis in hypertensive sibships is unknown. Subjects (n = 792, mean age 62 years, 60% women) were ascertained through sibships containing at least two individuals with essential hypertension diagnosed before age 60 years. The LDL particle size was measured by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Coronary artery calcium (CAC) was measured noninvasively by electron beam computed tomography, and CAC score was calculated using the method of Agatston et al. Sex-specific multiple regression models were used to assess independent predictors of LDL particle size and the association of LDL particle size with CAC. In all, 76% of women and 77% of men were hypertensive. In each sex, independent predictors of smaller LDL particle size were total cholesterol, triglycerides, and lower HDL cholesterol. In women, greater age was an additional predictor of smaller LDL particle size. After adjustment for age and statin use, LDL particle size was significantly associated with the amount of CAC in women but not in men. After further adjustment for HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, diabetes, smoking, and hypertension, LDL particle size was not independently associated with CAC in either sex. After adjustment for age and statin use, LDL particle size was found to be significantly related to CAC quantity in women but not in men belonging to hypertensive sibships. In women, LDL particle size may mediate some of the atherogenic effects of low-HDL cholesterol-high-triglyceride dyslipidemia, but does not appear to be independently associated with the extent of coronary atherosclerosis in either sex.
- coronary artery calcification
- electron beam computed tomography
- low-density lipoprotein particle size
- risk factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine