Objectives: To evaluate if logarithm of the ratio of plasma concentration of triglycerides to HDL-cholesterol (Log[TG/HDL-C]) correlates with cholesterol esterification rates in apoB-lipoprotein-depleted plasma (FER(HDL)) and lipoprotein particle size.
Design and methods: We analyzed previous data dealing with the parameters related to the FER(HDL) (an indirect measure of lipoprotein particle size). In a total of 1433 subjects from 35 cohorts with various risk of atherosclerosis (cord plasma, children, healthy men and women, pre- and postmenopausal women, patients with hypertension, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia and patients with positive or negative angiography findings) were studied.
Results: The analysis revealed a strong positive correlation (r = 0.803) between FER(HDL) and Log(TG/HDL-C). This parameter, which we propose to call "atherogenic index of plasma" (AIP) directly related to the risk of atherosclerosis in the above cohorts. We also confirmed in a cohort of 35 normal subjects a significant inverse correlation of LDL size with FER(HDL) (r = -0.818) and AIP (r = -0.776).
Conclusion: Values of AIP correspond closely to those of FER(HDL) and to lipoprotein particle size and thus could be used as a marker of plasma atherogenicity.