Remnant cholesterol predicts cardiovascular disease beyond LDL and ApoB: a primary prevention study

ARTICLE: Remnant cholesterol predicts cardiovascular disease beyond LDL and ApoB: a primary prevention study

AUTHORS: Renato Quispe, Seth S Martin, Erin D Michos, Isha Lamba, Roger S Blumenthal, Anum Saeed, Joao A C Lima, Rishi Puri, Sarah O Nomura, Michael Y Tsai, John T Wilkins, Christie M Ballantyne, Stephen J Nicholls, Steven R Jones, Mohamed B Elshazly

JOURNAL: Eur Heart J. 2021 Jul 19;ehab432. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehab432. Online ahead of print.


Aims: Emerging evidence suggests that remnant cholesterol (RC) promotes atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). We aimed to estimate RC-related risk beyond low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and apolipoprotein B (apoB) in patients without known ASCVD.

Methods and results: We pooled data from 17 532 ASCVD-free individuals from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study (n = 9748), the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (n = 3049), and the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (n = 4735). RC was calculated as non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) minus calculated LDL-C. Adjusted Cox models were used to estimate the risk for incident ASCVD associated with log RC levels. We also performed discordance analyses examining relative ASCVD risk in RC vs. LDL-C discordant/concordant groups using difference in percentile units (>10 units) and clinically relevant LDL-C targets. The mean age of participants was 52.3 ± 17.9 years, 56.7% were women and 34% black. There were 2143 ASCVD events over the median follow-up of 18.7 years. After multivariable adjustment including LDL-C and apoB, log RC was associated with higher ASCVD risk [hazard ratio (HR) 1.65, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.45-1.89]. Moreover, the discordant high RC/low LDL-C group, but not the low RC/high LDL-C group, was associated with increased ASCVD risk compared to the concordant group (HR 1.21, 95% CI 1.08-1.35). Similar results were shown when examining discordance across clinical cutpoints.

Conclusions: In ASCVD-free individuals, elevated RC levels were associated with ASCVD independent of traditional risk factors, LDL-C, and apoB levels. The mechanisms of RC association with ASCVD, surprisingly beyond apoB, and the potential value of targeted RC-lowering in primary prevention need to be further investigated.

Keywords: Apolipoprotein B; LDL-cholesterol; Primary prevention; Remnant cholesterol.

For the full article, click here.

For a link to the abstract, click here.