A unifying theory of atherogenesis

Med Hypotheses. 1996 Oct;47(4):321-5. doi: 10.1016/s0306-9877(96)90073-0.


The author proposes that all major risk factors, including elevated serum low-density lipoprotein, cause atherosclerosis by increasing viscosity, creating larger areas of decreased blood flow, thereby perpetuating the interaction of atherogenic elements with the endothelium. Low-density lipoprotein causes increased viscosity by fostering erythrocyte aggregation. High-density lipoprotein protects against atherosclerosis by antagonizing erythrocyte aggregation, thereby decreasing viscosity. Implications of this theory are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arteriosclerosis / blood
  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology*
  • Arteriosclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Blood Viscosity
  • Erythrocyte Aggregation
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Risk Factors


  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Lipoproteins, LDL