Aims: High cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) concentrations are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in subjects with high triglycerides. We determined the relationship of plasma CETP with incident CVD in a population with relatively low triglycerides. Methods and results: A nested case-control study was performed in men participating in the prospective PREVEND study, after exclusion of CVD, diabetes mellitus, and lipid-lowering drugs use at baseline. Plasma CETP was measured in 111 men who developed a cardiovascular event (cases) during follow-up and in 116 controls who remained free of CVD. Fasting total cholesterol (P < 0.001) and triglycerides (P < 0.001) were higher, HDL cholesterol was lower (P = 0.001), but CETP was similar in cases and controls (P = 0.39). Cox proportional hazards regression analysis showed that CVD risk tended to be lower with higher plasma CETP after adjustment for age and lipids (hazard ratio 0.84; 95% CI 0.69-1.03, P = 0.10). Plasma CETP was lower in cases than in controls (P = 0.05) with triglycerides ≤ 1.38 mmol/L (median), but not with higher triglycerides. The age-adjusted hazard ratio for CVD was 0.46 (95% CI 0.24-0.90) in men with triglycerides ≤ 1.38 mmol/L and CETP > 2.26 mg/L (median) compared with men with similarly low triglycerides and CETP ≤ 2.26 mg/L. With higher triglycerides, the hazard ratio for CVD was similar in both CETP categories. Conclusion: Relatively high plasma CETP may favour reduced CVD risk in the context of low triglycerides.

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European Heart Journal
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Borggreve, S., Hillege, H., Dallinga-Thie, G., de Jong, P., Wolffenbuttel, B., Grobbee, D., … Dullaart, R. (2007). High plasma cholesteryl ester transfer protein levels may favour reduced incidence of cardiovascular events in men with low triglycerides. European Heart Journal, 28(8), 1012–1018. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehm062