Contact: Nick Zagorski
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
A possible risk group for statin use
Appearing in the April issue of Journal of Lipid Research
a patient study of over 1,000 individuals with coronary artery disease
(CAD), researchers have found that high levels of an enzyme called PLTP
significantly increased the risk of heart attack in the subset of
patients taking statins. While follow-up studies will be needed to
tease out the exact connection between PLTP and statins, this
connection does suggest levels of PLTP in the blood should be a
consideration for potential statin treatment.
(phospholipid transferprotein) is involved in the metabolism of
cholesterol-containing molecules like LDL and HDL, and therefore has
been associated with atherosclerosis and heart disease. The exact role
of PLTP in cardiovascular health remains debated, though, so Axel
Schlitt and colleagues measured PLTP levels in 1,085 patients with CAD
and then tracked how PLTP related to clinical outcome.
the follow-up period (~5.1 years), 156 of the trial subjects suffered a
fatal or non-fatal heart attack, including 47 individuals who were
taking statins (out of 395 total statin patients). The researchers
found that in this statin subset, PLTP levels were a significant
predictor of cardiovascular outcome. In the total cohort, PLTP levels
and outcome were not associated.
So while the statin patients
experienced a lower overall rate of heart attack (12% vs. 15% -though
the researchers note it's not especially significant, statistically),
some individuals taking these drugs are at higher risk than normal.
Schlitt and colleagues hypothesize that the high PLTP levels may blunt
the beneficial effects of statins, though additional studies will
certainly be needed.
the article: "Phospholipid Transfer Protein Activity is a Risk Factor
for subsequent Cardiovascular Events in Coronary Artery Disease
Patients under Statin Therapy: the AtheroGene Study" by Axel Schlitt,
Stefan Blankenberg, Christoph Bickel, Karl J. Lackner, Gunnar H. Heine,
Michael Buerke, Karl Werdan, Lars Maegdefessel, Uwe Raaz, Hans J.
Rupprecht, Munzel T, Xian-Cheng Jiang
Article link: http://www.jlr.org/cgi/content/abstract/M800414-JLR200v1
Author: Axel Schlitt, MD, Department of Medicine III, Martin
Luther-University, Germany; Phone: +49 345 557 2622, Email: [email protected]
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