Accumulation of chylomicron remnants and impaired vascular reactivity occur in subjects with isolated low HDL cholesterol: Effects of niacin treatment


      Fasting hypertriglyceridemia relates with high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, but it is not known whether low HDL cholesterol is associated with disturbances of chylomicron metabolism. To clarify this issue this metabolism was studied in subjects with low HDL cholesterol together with vascular reactivity and evaluation of no-flush niacin treatment. Thirty men with HDL < 1.04 mmol/L and no other risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD) and 11 normal controls with HDL > 1.04 mmol/L were studied. The plasma kinetics of a chylomicron-like emulsion labeled with 14C-cholesterol oleate (CO) and 3H-triolein (TG) was determined and the fractional clearance rate (FCR, min−1) was calculated. Vascular reactivity was evaluated using high-resolution ultrasonography. CO FCR was markedly reduced in the low HDL group compared to controls (3.6 × 10−3 ± 5.1 × 10−3 min−1 versus 12.2 × 10−3 ± 8.4 × 10−3 min−1, p < 0.001) but TG FCR was similar. Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) was diminished in low HDL (7.4 ± 4.1 versus 12.8 ± 4.6%, p < 0.001), whereas nitrate-mediated dilation was similar. Twenty-two low HDL subjects with reduced FMD were randomized into two groups, one given 1.5 g/day niacin and a placebo group. After 3-month treatment, plasma lipids and chylomicron kinetics were not changed by niacin treatment but FMD improved to normal values (5.44 ± 1.89 to 11.13 ± 3.4%, p < 0.01). In conclusion, isolated low HDL cholesterol subjects may also bear chylomicron remnant accumulation and endothelial dysfunction, which highlight the importance of their preventive treatment.


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