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Research Article

A common substitution (Asn291Ser) in lipoprotein lipase is associated with increased risk of ischemic heart disease.

H H Wittrup, A Tybjaerg-Hansen, S Abildgaard, R Steffensen, P Schnohr and B G Nordestgaard

Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Herlev University Hospital, Denmark.

Published April 1, 1997

Lipoprotein lipase degrades triglycerides in plasma and as a byproduct produces HDL particles. Genetic variation in lipoprotein lipase may therefore affect cardiovascular risk. We tested 9,214 men and women from a general population sample and 948 patients with ischemic heart disease for the Asn291Ser substitution in lipoprotein lipase. The allele frequency in the general population was 0.024 and 0.026 for women and men, respectively. In comparison with noncarriers, female heterozygous probands had increased plasma triglycerides (delta = 0.23 mmol/liter), while HDL cholesterol was reduced in both female and male carriers (delta = 0.18 mmol/liter and delta = 0.11 mmol/liter, respectively). A similar phenotype was found in six homozygous carriers. On multiple logistic regression analysis, plasma triglycerides and HDL cholesterol were independent predictors of ischemic heart disease in both genders. On univariate analysis, odds ratios for ischemic heart disease in probands were 1.89 in women (95% CI: 1.19-3.01) and 0.90 in men (95% CI: 0.62-1.31), and on multivariate analysis were 1.98 in women (95% CI: 1.11-3.53) and 1.02 in men (95% CI: 0.65-1.60). This study demonstrates that a single common mutation in the lipoprotein lipase gene is associated with elevated plasma triglycerides and reduced HDL cholesterol levels, whereby carriers, in particular women, seem to be predisposed to ischemic heart disease. It cannot be excluded, however, that male carriers of this substitution may represent a subset of low-HDL individuals without raised triglycerides not predisposed to ischemic heart disease.