Plasma lipidome patterns associated with cardiovascular risk in the PREDIMED trial: A case-cohort study

Int J Cardiol. 2018 Feb 15:253:126-132. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2017.10.026.


Background: The study of the plasma lipidome may help to better characterize molecular mechanisms underlying cardiovascular disease. The identification of new lipid biomarkers could provide future targets for prevention and innovative therapeutic approaches. In the frame of the PREDIMED trial, our aim was to examine the associations of baseline lipidome patterns or their changes with the risk of clinical CVD events.

Methods: We included 983 participants in our case-cohort study. The end-point was the incidence of major CVD during 4.8years of median follow-up. We repeatedly measured 202 plasma known lipid metabolites at baseline and after 1-year of intervention. Principal component analysis was used to identify lipidome factors. Among the 15 identified factors, 7 were significantly associated with CVD. Considering common patterns among factors, lipids were grouped (summed) into scores.

Results: After adjustment for traditional CVD risk factors, scores of baseline polyunsaturated phosphatidylcholines (PC)/lysoPC/PC-plasmalogens and polyunsaturated cholesterol esters (CE) showed inverse associations with CVD (p=0.036 and 0.012, respectively); whereas scores of monoacylglycerols (MAGs)/diacylglycerols (DAGs) and short triacylglycerols (TAGs) showed a direct association with CVD (p=0.026 and 0.037, respectively). Baseline phosphatidylethanolamines (PEs) and their 1-y changes tended to be associated with higher CVD risk (p=0.066 and 0.081, respectively). We did not find a significant effect of the intervention with the Mediterranean Diet on these scores.

Conclusions: Our study suggests that polyunsaturated PCs and CEs may confer protection against CVD. In contrast, MAGs, DAGs, TAGs and PEs appeared to be associated with higher CVD risk.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Case-cohort; Lipidomics; Mediterranean diet; Primary prevention.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diet therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cholesterol Esters / blood*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nuts
  • Olive Oil / administration & dosage
  • Phosphatidylcholines / blood*
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Cholesterol Esters
  • Lipids
  • Olive Oil
  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • polyene phosphatidylcholine