Plasma PCSK9 levels are unrelated to arterial stiffness in a community-based, 4.8-year prospective study
Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) is an important circulating serine protease in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) metabolism. Increased plasma PCSK9 levels lead to increased plasma levels of LDL-C and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). LDL-C is positively correlated with arterial stiffness, a surrogate endpoint of CVD. However, whether plasma levels of PCSK9 could influence arterial stiffness is still unclear. Our study examined the relationship between plasma levels of PCSK9 and arterial stiffness (carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cf-PWV)) in a community-based population. We analysed the measurements of baseline plasma PCSK9 levels and both baseline and follow-up cf-PWV in 1447 subjects in a 4.8-year longitudinal study. Pearson's correlation analyses revealed that plasma levels of PCSK9 were not correlated with cf-PWV. Additionally, multiple linear regression analyses using cf-PWV as the dependent variable and adjusting for several potential confounders showed that plasma PCSK9 levels were not significantly correlated with cf-PWV. Thus, our study could not prove an independent relationship between plasma levels of PCSK9 and arterial stiffness.