High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Phospholipid Content and Cholesterol Efflux Capacity Are Reduced in Patients With Very High HDL Cholesterol and Coronary Disease
Objective—Plasma levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) are strongly inversely associated with coronary artery disease (CAD), and high HDL-C is generally associated with reduced risk of CAD. Extremely high HDL-C with CAD is an unusual phenotype, and we hypothesized that the HDL in such individuals may have an altered composition and reduced function when compared with controls with similarly high HDL-C and no CAD.
Approach and Results—Fifty-five subjects with very high HDL-C (mean, 86 mg/dL) and onset of CAD at the age of ≈60 years with no known risk factors for CAD (cases) were identified through systematic recruitment. A total of 120 control subjects without CAD, matched for race, sex, and HDL-C level (controls), were identified. In all subjects, HDL composition was analyzed and HDL cholesterol efflux capacity was assessed. HDL phospholipid composition was significantly lower in cases (92±37 mg/dL) than in controls (109±43 mg/dL; P=0.0095). HDL cholesterol efflux capacity was significantly lower in cases (1.96±0.39) than in controls (2.11±0.43; P=0.04).
Conclusions—In people with very high HDL-C, reduced HDL phospholipid content and cholesterol efflux capacity are associated with the paradoxical development of CAD.
- Received October 20, 2014.
- Accepted March 12, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.