Proportion of oxidized LDL relative to plasma apolipoprotein B does not change during statin therapy in patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia



      Circulating oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) has been shown to be a useful marker for identifying patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) and persons at high cardiovascular risk. The effect of cholesterol-lowering therapy on plasma level of oxidized LDL is not clear.

      Methods and results

      We investigated effects of cholesterol lowering by therapeutic intervention (2 years) with atorvastatin (80 mg daily) and simvastatin (40 mg daily) on circulating oxidized LDL (absolute level and in proportion to plasma apolipoprotein B) in relation to atherosclerosis progression (carotid intima-media thickness, carotid IMT) and to inflammation (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, hsCRP) in 115 stable patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). Atorvastatin and simvastatin reduced plasma-oxidized LDL (−43 and −35%, respectively) in proportion to the decrease in plasma apolipoprotein B. Neither absolute nor relative level of oxidized LDL correlated with carotid IMT or hsCRP at baseline. Also changes in levels of circulating oxidized LDL were not related to changes in carotid IMT and hsCRP.


      In familial hypercholesterolemia-oxidized LDL carried in plasma is strongly associated with apolipoprotein B but not with inflammation nor with carotid IMT, and statin treatment does not reduce oxidized LDL relative to apolipoprotein B.


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