Paraoxonase PON1 Polymorphism Leu-Met54 Is Associated With Carotid Atherosclerosis: Results of the Austrian Stroke Prevention Study

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Background and Purpose

Genetic polymorphism at the paraoxonase locus is associated with serum concentration and activity of paraoxonase and with increased risk for coronary heart disease. Two frequent polymorphisms present at the paraoxonase gene are the methionine (M allele) leucine (L allele) interchange at position 54 and the arginine (B allele) glutamine (A allele) interchange at position 191. This is the first study to determine the effect of these polymorphisms on carotid atherosclerosis.


The paraoxonase genotypes at positions 54 and 191 of 316 randomly selected individuals aged 44 to 75 years were determined by polymerase chain reaction-based restriction enzyme digestion. Carotid atherosclerosis was assessed by color-coded Duplex scanning and was graded on a 5-point scale ranging from 0 (normal) to 5 (complete luminal obstruction).


The LL, LM, and MM genotypes at position 54 were noted in 137 (43.4%), 132 (41.8%), and 47 (14.9%) subjects; the AA, AB, and BB genotypes at position 191 occurred in 172 (54.4%), 124 (39.2%), and 20 (6.3%) individuals. The LL genotype was significantly associated with the presence and severity of carotid disease (P=0.022), whereas the 191 polymorphism had no effect. Logistic regression analysis with age and sex forced into the model demonstrated plasma fibrinogen (odds ratio [OR], 1.005 per mg/dL), LDL cholesterol (OR, 1.01 per mg/dL), cardiac disease (OR, 1.75), and the paraoxonase LL genotype to be significant predictors of carotid atherosclerosis. The ORs for the associations with age and sex were 1.09 (P=0.0003) and 1.66 (P=0.052) per year.


These data suggest that the paraoxonase LL genotype may represent a genetic risk factor for carotid atherosclerosis. (Stroke. 1998;29:2043-2048.)

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