Association between lipoprotein associated phospholipase A2 mass and subclinical coronary and carotid atherosclerosis in retired national football league players

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Objectives: Retired National Football League (NFL) players were reported to have high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors. Lipoprotein Associated Phospholipase A2 (LpPLA2) has shown to be associated with cardiovascular disease in the general population, but it is unknown whether such an association exists in retired NFL players. Our objective was to assess whether LpPLA2 mass was associated with coronary artery calcium (CAC) and carotid artery plaque (CAP) in retired NFL players.
Methods: LpPLA2 mass was assessed using a dual monoclonal antibody immunoassay. CAC presence was defined as CAC score>0. CAP was defined as focal thickening ≥50% than that of the surrounding vessel wall with a minimal thickness of 1.2 mm on carotid ultrasound.
Results: In 832 NFL players, the median (IQR) age and LpPLA2 levels were 54 (45-63) years and 142 (109-181) ng/mL respectively. LpPLA2 mass was positively correlated with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; negatively correlated with LDL particle concentration and body mass index; and not correlated with high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. CAC was present in 659 (79%) and CAP in 544 (65%) players. In a fully adjusted model, LpPLA2 was not associated with CAC (OR per 1-SD increase, 0.85; 95% CI 0.71-1.02) or CAP (0.90, 0.75-1.08). LpPLA2 was also not associated with CAC burden in those with CAC>0. Results were similar when highest and lowest LpPLA2 tertiles were compared, and also in various subgroups.
Conclusion: LpPLA2 mass was not associated with coronary or carotid subclinical atherosclerosis in retired NFL players.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

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