Apolipoprotein B, apolipoprotein A-I, insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome

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Purpose of review

The goal of identifying subjects with metabolic syndrome is to detect those at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Evidence continues to accumulate as to the superiority of apolipoprotein B and apolipoprotein A-I over the conventional lipoprotein lipids as markers of vascular risk. It would seem reasonable, therefore, to redefine the dyslipidemia of the metabolic syndrome incorporating apolipoproteins. Therefore, our objective is to elucidate how apolipoprotein B and apolipoprotein A-I amplify evidence of the interactions amongst metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, and vascular risk.

Recent findings

In several large epidemiological studies, including the NHANES III database, apolipoprotein B/apolipoprotein A-I ratio was tightly linked to the metabolic syndrome and each of its components, the descending order being: low HDL cholesterol, high triglyceride, high waist circumference, high glucose, and high blood pressure. Moreover, apolipoprotein B associates more closely with inflammatory markers and insulin resistance than triglyceride and all cholesterol markers. Yet despite close association of the apolipoprotein B/apolipoprotein A-I ratio to metabolic syndrome, both are independent predictors of future myocardial infarction.


We believe that the dyslipidemia of the metabolic syndrome should be redefined to include apolipoprotein B and apolipoprotein A-I.

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