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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 1, 2005

The apoB/apoA-I ratio is better than the cholesterol ratios to estimate the balance between plasma proatherogenic and antiatherogenic lipoproteins and to predict coronary risk

Göran Walldius, Ingmar Jungner, Are H. Aastveit, Ingar Holme, Curt D. Furberg and Allan D. Sniderman


Background: The apolipoprotein B (apoB)/apoA-I ratio represents the balance of proatherogenic and antiatherogenic lipoproteins. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the apoB/apoA-I ratio was superior to any of the cholesterol ratios – total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (TC/HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)/HDL-C and non-HDL-C/HDL-C – in predicting the risk of coronary disease. Moreover, we examined whether any lipids, lipoproteins or cholesterol ratios add significant predictive information beyond that provided by the apoB/apoA-I ratio.

Methods: Plasma lipids, lipoproteins, apoB, and apoA-I were measured in 69,030 men and 57,168 women above 40years of age. After a mean follow-up of 98months, 1183 men and 560 women had died from a myocardial infarction in this prospective apolipoprotein-related mortality risk (AMORIS) study.

Results: High apoB and a high apoB/apoA-I ratio were strongly related to increased coronary risk, while high apoA-I was inversely related to risk. The apoB/apoA-I ratio was superior to any of the cholesterol ratios in predicting risk. This advantage was most pronounced in subjects with LDL-C levels <3.6mmol/l. Addition of lipids, lipoproteins or any cholesterol ratio to apoB/apoA-I in risk models did not further improve the strong predictive value of apoB/apoA-I.

Conclusions: These results indicate that the apoB/apoA-I ratio is at present the best single lipoprotein-related variable to quantitate coronary risk. Given the additional advantages apolipoproteins possess – fasting samples are not required, apoB/apoA-I is a better index of the adequacy of statin therapy than LDL-C, and the measurement of apoB and apoA-I are standardized, whereas LDL-C and HDL-C are not – there would appear to be considerable advantage to integrating apolipoproteins into clinical practice.

Corresponding author: Prof. G. Walldius, AstraZeneca, 431 83 Molndal, Sweden Phone: +46-31-7762678, Fax: +46-31-7763802,


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Received: 2004-8-18
Accepted: 2004-10-5
Published Online: 2005-6-1
Published in Print: 2004-12-1

©2004 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York

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