Objectives: To explore possible associations of malondialdehyde-modified low-density lipoprotein (MDA-LDL) and LDL-immune complexes (LDL-IC) with atherosclerosis in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Design and methods: Plasma MDA-LDL, LDL-IC levels and mechanisms of the changes were investigated in RA patients with or without coronary artery disease (CAD), simple CAD patients and control.
Results: MDA-LDL and LDL-IC levels were found increased in all the studied patients, the RA patients with CAD exhibited the most significant changes. MDA-LDL levels were higher in the RA patients with CAD than those both in the simple RA and CAD patients. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that CAD, LDL-IC and erythrocyte sedimentation rate accounted for 36.5% of the variation in MDA-LDL levels; and age, activity, MDA-LDL and rheumatoid factors accounted for 34.5% of the variation in LDL-IC.
Conclusions: High levels of MDA-LDL and LDL-IC are risk factors for increased risk of atherosclerosis in RA patients and are associated with inflammation.