Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of Lipoproteins and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in the Cardiovascular Health Study

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Objectives—Relationships between incident cardiovascular disease and lipoprotein subclass measurements by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy were evaluated in the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) in a nested case-cohort analysis.Methods and Results—The case group consisted of 434 participants with incident myocardial infarction (MI) and angina diagnosed after entry to the study (1990 to 1995) and the comparison group, 249 “healthy” participants with no prevalent clinical or subclinical disease. By univariate analysis, the median levels for healthy participants versus participants with incident MI and angina were 0 versus 7 mg% for small low density lipoprotein (LDL), 1501 versus 1680 nmol/L for the number of LDL particles, and 21.6 versus 21.3 for LDL size, and these values were significantly different between “healthy” participants and those with incident MI and angina for women but not men. The levels of less dense LDL, which is most of the total LDL cholesterol among women, was not related to incident MI and angina. For women, large high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLc), but not small HDLc, levels were significantly higher for healthy participants compared with levels for participants with MI and angina. For men and women, levels of total and very low density lipoprotein triglycerides were higher for the case group than for the healthy group. In multivariate models for women that included triglycerides and HDLc, the number of LDL particles (but not LDL size) remained significantly related to MI and angina.Conclusions—Small LDL, the size of LDL particles, and the greater number of LDL particles are related to incident coronary heart disease among older women.

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