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High-density lipoproteins and the risk of atherosclerosis

High-density lipoproteins and the risk of atherosclerosis

New England Journal of Medicine 306(25): 1546-1548

While hypertension, cigarette smoking, and hyperlipidemia are all prominant risk factors for atherosclerosis (AS) (the most common lethal disease), AS develops in a small number of subjects without these factors. An alternate risk factor, decreased plasma high-density (alpha) lipoproproteins (HDL) levels (specifically, the cholesterol CH content of HDL) has been correlated with AS development. However, HDL also contains several apolipoporteins (ALP). The lack of ALP C-III is suggested as a major factor in premature AS, although its function is unknown. Present methods may be too insensitive to measure physiologically-important levels of ALP. There is an implication that HDL CH and the major HDL proteins may not relate directly to an important measure of CH metabolism or to AS risk. Finally, it has not been shown that raising HDL CH or apoprotein levels reduced AS risk, and should not be used for clinical prevention or treatment of AS without further study. Elevated levels of low-density lipoproteins, the major CH carrier in human plasma, have a clear-cut relation to AS risk. Lowering plasma CH with low-CH, low-saturated-fat diets lowers AS risk. (wz) 3

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Accession: 001085083

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 7078610

DOI: 10.1056/NEJM198206243062509

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