Objective: Serum LDL conjugated diene concentration is a marker of oxidative modification of LDL. We investigated the relationship between LDL conjugated dienes and cross-sectional subclinical atherosclerosis assessed by carotid IMT in high-risk subjects of a multicenter study.
Methods: Serum LDL conjugated dienes and ultrasonographically assessed carotid intima-media thickness (IMT(mean), IMT(max) and IMT(mean-max)) were available for 553 subjects from Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Sweden.
Results: In multivariate regression analysis, gender (p < 0.001), age (p < 0.001), systolic blood pressure (IMT(mean), p = 0.01; IMT(mean-max), p = 0.05) and serum LDL conjugated dienes (p = 0.02 for both IMT(mean) and IMT(mean-max)) were the strongest determinants of IMT variation, adjusted for study center, ultrasound videotape reader and serum LDL cholesterol. Pack-years of smoking, added into the regression model, did not destroy the significant association between increased serum LDL conjugated dienes and IMT. Ratio of LDL conjugated dienes to LDL particle cholesterol was higher in subjects of Northern recruiting centers than of Southern centers (r = 0.39, p < 0.0001).
Conclusions: There was a cross-sectional association between in vivo increased LDL oxidative modification and subclinical atherosclerosis after adjustment for traditional risk factors. The subjects in Northern countries of Europe had more oxidatively modified lipids per cholesterol in LDL particle than subjects in Southern countries.
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