Increased Prevalence of Smaller and Denser LDL Particles in Asian Indians
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Abstract—There is increasing evidence to believe that Asian Indians are at an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), which cannot be attributed to the common risk factors. Individuals with small, dense LDL phenotype are also known to be at increased risk of CHD. Our objective was to examine whether the prevalence of smaller and denser LDL particles is increased in Asian Indians. Thirty-nine Asian Indians (22 men and 17 women), aged 25 to 45 years, were matched with 39 whites for age and gender. Cholesterol profiles of lipoprotein classes and LDL subclasses were measured using the Vertical Auto Profile–II (VAP-II) and LDL-VAP-II methods, respectively. Six LDL subclasses (LDL1 to LDL6) have been identified using the LDL-VAP-II, with LDL1 and LDL6, respectively, being the most and least buoyant subclasses. The prevalence of small, dense LDL type (subjects with major LDL subclass 5 or 6) was significantly higher in Asian Indians compared with white subjects (44% versus 21%; P<0.05). The relative position of the major LDL density peak (LDL-Rf) on 0 to 1 scale in LDL-VAP-II density gradient was also significantly decreased in Asian Indians (0.462±0.076 versus 0.505±0.086; P<0.02), suggesting an increased LDL density. Furthermore, this increased prevalence of small, dense LDL type appears to be due to the increased triglycerides (TG) (r for LDL-Rf versus TG=0.681, P<0.001), with fasting insulin being one of the important determinants of TG (r for TG versus fasting insulin=0.572, P<0.001). In addition, fasting insulin was significantly increased in Asian Indians with small, dense LDL type compared with other Asian Indians, suggesting a significant role of insulin resistance in increasing the prevalence of small, dense LDL type. We conclude that the increased prevalence of small, dense LDL observed in Asian Indians might contribute to their increased CHD risk.
- Received August 13, 1999.
- Accepted April 2, 1999.