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20-10-2011 | Cardiology | Article

Lipid parameters linked to venous thromboembolism risk


Free abstract

MedWire News: Study findings suggest that levels of lipids and lipoproteins may contribute to the development of venous thromboembolism (VTE) among patients not using lipid-lowering drugs.

The team found a significant association between elevated apolipoprotein (apo)B levels and risk for VTE in patients who were not using statins or fibrates.

Furthermore, "among non-users of lipid-lowering drugs we found a strong association between low-density lipoprotein (LDL)/high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, apoB/apoA-I ratios and VTE, particularly in men," say Karine Lacut (Brest University, France) and co-authors.

They add that "because these ratios are also strong predictors of cardiovascular disease, our results are in line with the new concept of a global vascular disease combining atherosclerosis and VTE."

To investigate the risk for VTE associated with lipid parameters (total, HDL, and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, apoA-I, and apoB) the team recruited 497 patients with a first unprovoked VTE event diagnosed between May 2000 and December 2004 and 497 age- and gender-matched controls.

In total, 743 patients reported not using lipid-lowering drugs at baseline, 100 were using statins, and 91 were fibrate users.

Patients using statins were at a significant 51% lower risk for developing VTE than non-users, and there was a nonsignificant trend between fibrate use and an increased risk for VTE, but this was nonsignficant.

The risk for developing VTE among non-users of lipid-lowering drugs in the highest quartile of apoB was 1.82 times higher than for those in the lowest quartile, after adjusting for potential confounders.

Similarly, non-users of lipid-lowering drugs in the highest quartiles of LDL/HDL cholesterol and apoB/apoA-I ratios were at a 2.76 and 1.86-fold increased risk for VTE compared with those in the lowest quartiles, but this was only significant in men.

Lacut and co-authors also found that in men only, elevated LDL cholesterol levels were associated with a 2.32-fold increased risk for VTE.

There were no associations between lipid parameters and VTE in statin or fibrate users, they add.

"While the mechanisms beyond the association between fibrate and VTE are not understood, there is evidence that the benefits of statins as regards VTE risk might be the consequences of direct modulations of the coagulation pathway," conclude Lacut et al in the journal Atherosclerosis.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Nikki Withers

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