Improving Prediction of Ischemic Cardiovascular Disease in the General Population Using Apolipoprotein B: The Copenhagen City Heart Study

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Apolipoprotein B (apoB) levels predict fatal myocardial infarction. Whether apoB also predicts nonfatal ischemic cardiovascular events is unclear. We tested the following hypotheses: apoB predicts ischemic cardiovascular events, and apoB is a better predictor of ischemic cardiovascular events than low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Methods and Results—

We studied 9231 asymptomatic women and men from the Danish general population followed prospectively for 8 years and observed the following incident events: ischemic heart disease 591, myocardial infarction 278, ischemic cerebrovascular disease 313, ischemic stroke 229, and any ischemic cardiovascular event 807. Women with apoB in the upper versus the lower tertile had hazard ratios for ischemic heart disease of 1.8 (1.2 to 2.5), for myocardial infarction 2.6 (1.4 to 4.7), and for any ischemic cardiovascular event 1.8 (1.3 to 2.3), and men had hazard ratios for ischemic heart disease of 1.9 (1.5 to 2.6), for myocardial infarction 2.4 (1.5 to 3.6), and for any ischemic cardiovascular event 1.6 (1.3 to 2.1). Women had similar hazard ratios for ischemic cerebrovascular disease and ischemic stroke. ApoB had a higher predictive ability than low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the prediction of ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction, any ischemic cardiovascular event, and any nonfatal ischemic cardiovascular event in both genders (P=0.03 to <0.001). Finally, in smokers older than 60 years with systolic blood pressure >160 mm Hg, apoB contributed 11% in women and 15% in men to the increase in absolute 10-year risk from the lower to the upper apoB tertile.


ApoB predicts ischemic cardiovascular events in both genders, and is better than low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in this respect. We suggest that prediction of future ischemic cardiovascular events could be improved by measuring apoB.

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