Skin tissue cholesterol (SkinTc) is related to angiographically-defined cardiovascular disease


      Parallel changes associated with aging found in the vasculature and skin at necropsy, have prompted small preliminary studies to assess the relation between skin tissue cholesterol (SkinTc) and cardiovascular disease. While these studies have been suggestive, no formal investigation is available to test this association. It would, therefore, be valuable to determine whether a relation between SkinTc and angiographic narrowing actually exists, the latter representing one accepted measurement of coronary atherosclerosis. Methods: Patients at three hospitals undergoing coronary angiography and not on lipid altering agents (n=649) were examined for skinTc using a non-invasive method. Vessels were evaluated manually (number with stenosis ≥50%). Clinical characteristics, current medication use, and Framingham global risk score were recorded. Results: SkinTc was significantly higher in patients with angiographic disease (124±30 vs. 118±30, P=0.02). After adjustment for traditional coronary artery disease risk factors, SkinTc provided 7% additional risk (per 10 SkinTc units) for angiographic disease. Conclusion: SkinTc, measured with a non-invasive method, is associated with the presence of coronary artery disease as determined by catheterization. Such an assay may eventually help stratify patient risk and target prevention efforts.


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