Plasma Oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein Levels and Arterial Stiffness in Older Adults
The Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study
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Arterial stiffness is a prominent feature of vascular aging and is strongly related to cardiovascular disease. Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL), a key player in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, may also play a role in arterial stiffening, but this relationship has not been well studied. Thus, we examined the cross-sectional association between ox-LDL and aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV), a marker of arterial stiffness, in community-dwelling older adults. Plasma ox-LDL levels and aPWV were measured in 2295 participants (mean age: 74 years; 52% female; 40% black) from the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study. Mean aPWV significantly increased across tertiles of ox-LDL (tertile 1: 869±376 cm/s; tertile 2: 901±394 cm/s; tertile 3: 938±415 cm/s; P=0.002). In multivariate analyses, ox-LDL remained associated with aPWV after adjustment for demographics and traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors (P=0.008). After further adjustment for hemoglobin A1c, abdominal visceral fat, antihypertensive and antilipemic medications, and C-reactive protein, the association with ox-LDL was attenuated but remained significant (P=0.01). Results were similar when ox-LDL was expressed in absolute (milligrams per deciliter) or relative amounts (percentage of low-density lipoprotein). Moreover, individuals in the highest ox-LDL tertile were 30% to 55% more likely to have high arterial stiffness, defined as aPWV >75th percentile (P≤0.02). In conclusion, we found that, among elderly persons, elevated plasma ox-LDL levels were associated with higher arterial stiffness, independent of cardiovascular disease risk factors. These data suggest that ox-LDL may be related to the pathogenesis of arterial stiffness.
- Received November 24, 2008.
- Revision received December 19, 2008.
- Accepted March 6, 2009.