Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 activity, ferritin levels, metabolic syndrome, and 10-year cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular mortality: results from the Bruneck study

Eur Heart J. 2009 Jan;30(1):107-15. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehn502. Epub 2008 Nov 19.


Aims: To identify factors that influence plasma levels and assess the prognostic value of lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) activity in a prospective, population-based survey of the epidemiology and pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.

Methods and results: The Bruneck study is a prospective, population-based survey initiated in 1990. Lp-PLA2 activity and baseline variables for the current analysis were measured in 765 subjects aged 45-84 years in 1995. Incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) (cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, and transient ischaemic attack) and rates of non-CVD mortality were assessed between 1995 and 2005. Subjects with incident CVD had higher levels of Lp-PLA2 activity (884 +/- 196 vs. 771 +/- 192 micromol/min/L, P < 0.001). Increased Lp-PLA2 activity was significantly related to incident CVD [age- and sex-adjusted hazard ratio (95%CI) 2.9 (1.6-5.5); third vs. first tertile group; P < 0.001] and with vascular mortality but not with non-CVD mortality. Lp-PLA2 activity was enhanced in subjects with the metabolic syndrome and showed highly significant positive associations with LDL-C, apoB-100, ferritin, and HOMA-IR, and inverse associations with HDL-C and anti-oxidant levels.

Conclusion: Increased Lp-PLA2 activity is associated with metabolic syndrome and incident fatal and non-fatal CVD, but not with non-CVD mortality. Furthermore, Lp-PLA2 activity is strongly influenced by ferritin levels, LDL-C, and apoB-100 supporting its integral role in lipid peroxidation. Clinical utility of Lp-PLA2 activity for prediction of cardiovascular risk has to be explored in future studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1-Alkyl-2-acetylglycerophosphocholine Esterase / blood*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Female
  • Ferritins / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / mortality
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies


  • Biomarkers
  • Ferritins
  • 1-Alkyl-2-acetylglycerophosphocholine Esterase