Sex differences in HDL ApoC-III in American Indian youth

Biol Sex Differ. 2012 Aug 16;3(1):18. doi: 10.1186/2042-6410-3-18.


Background: Since American Indians are predisposed to type 2 diabetes (DM2) and associated cardiovascular risk, Cherokee boys and girls (n = 917) were studied to determine whether BMI Z (body mass index Z score) is associated with the apoC-III (apolipoprotein C-III) content of HDL (high density lipoprotein), a previously reported predictor of DM2.

Methods: An ad hoc cross-sectional analysis was conducted on a previously studied cohort. Participants were grouped by gender-specific age groups (5 to 9, 10 to 14 and 15 to 19 years). ApoA-I (apolipoprotein A-I) and HDL apoC-III were assayed by electroimmunoassay. ApoC-III was measured in whole plasma, and in HDL to determine the molar proportion to apoA-I. General linear models were used to assess association.

Results: The HDL apoC-III to apoA-I molar ratio increased by BMI Z quartile in girls aged 10-14 years (p < 0.05 for linear trend, p < 0.05 for difference in BMI Z quartile IV vs. I to III) and aged 15-19 years (p < 0.05 for trend). In boys the increase by BMI Z occurred only at ages 15-19 years (p < 0.01 for trend and for quartile difference).

Conclusions: ApoC-III showed an obesity-related increase relative to apoA-I during adolescence beginning in girls aged 10 to 14 years and in boys aged 15 to 19 years. The earlier changes in girls may alter HDL's protective properties on the β-cell and contribute to their increased risk for DM2.