Plasma Glycine and Risk of Acute Myocardial Infarction in Patients With Suspected Stable Angina Pectoris

J Am Heart Assoc. 2015 Dec 31;5(1):e002621. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.115.002621.


Background: Glycine is an amino acid involved in antioxidative reactions, purine synthesis, and collagen formation. Several studies demonstrate inverse associations of glycine with obesity, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus. Recently, glycine-dependent reactions have also been linked to lipid metabolism and cholesterol transport. However, little evidence is available on the association between glycine and coronary heart disease. Therefore, we assessed the association between plasma glycine and acute myocardial infarction (AMI).

Methods and results: A total of 4109 participants undergoing coronary angiography for suspected stable angina pectoris were studied. Cox regression was used to estimate the association between plasma glycine and AMI, obtained via linkage to the CVDNOR project. During a median follow-up of 7.4 years, 616 patients (15.0%) experienced an AMI. Plasma glycine was higher in women than in men and was associated with a more favorable baseline lipid profile and lower prevalence of obesity, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus (all P<0.001). After multivariate adjustment for traditional coronary heart disease risk factors, plasma glycine was inversely associated with risk of AMI (hazard ratio per SD: 0.89; 95% CI, 0.82-0.98; P=0.017). The inverse association was generally stronger in those with apolipoprotein B, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or apolipoprotein A-1 above the median (all Pinteraction≤0.037).

Conclusions: Plasma glycine was inversely associated with risk of AMI in patients with suspected stable angina pectoris. The associations were stronger in patients with apolipoprotein B, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or apolipoprotein A-1 levels above the median. These results motivate further studies to elucidate the relationship between glycine and lipid metabolism, in particular in relation to cholesterol transport and atherosclerosis.

Clinical trial registration: URL: Unique identifier: NCT00354081.

Keywords: amino acids; apolipoprotein; atherosclerosis; glycine; lipids and lipoprotein metabolism; myocardial infarction.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angina, Stable / blood*
  • Angina, Stable / complications*
  • Angina, Stable / diagnostic imaging
  • Apolipoprotein A-I / blood
  • Apolipoprotein B-100 / blood
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Glycine / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Infarction / etiology*
  • Myocardial Infarction / prevention & control
  • Norway
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Protective Factors
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors


  • APOA1 protein, human
  • APOB protein, human
  • Apolipoprotein A-I
  • Apolipoprotein B-100
  • Biomarkers
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Glycine

Associated data