The concentrations of the major lipoprotein classes and of high density lipoprotein (HDL) subfractions in 63 male patients with arteriosclerosis of the lower limbs (claudication) were determined and compared with values from 63 healthy controls. The patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) had reduced levels of total HDL-cholesterol and HDL(2b) of large particle size, increased levels of small HDL(3C) particles and a high ratio of total plasma-cholesterol to HDL-cholesterol (coronary risk factor). The PAD patients, however, had lower levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol but higher concentrations of very low density lipoprotein (VLDL)-cholesterol and plasma triglyceride than healthy subjects. This study therefore suggests that in PAD, the protective effect of HDL may be more important than the atherogenic effect of LDL. It further suggests that while HDL-cholesterol HDL(2b) and the ratio of total plasma-cholesterol to HDL-cholesterol may provide valid indices for identifying individuals at risk of PAD, other factors, such as LDL and total cholesterol, may not provide such an appropriate risk indicator.
Bibliographical noteThe study was funded by a grant from Scotia Pharmaceuticals Ltd. We thank Mrs Kate Watt for skilled technical assistance.
- High density lipoprotein
- High density lipoprotein subfractions
- Low density lipoprotein
- Peripheral arterial disease