Associations between high-density lipoprotein particles and ischemic events by vascular domain, sex, and ethnicity: A pooled cohort analysis

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Cardiology; Office of the Provost


Background: High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentration (HDL-C) is an established atheroprotective marker, in particular for coronary artery disease; however, HDL particle concentration (HDL-P) may better predict risk. The associations of HDL-C and HDL-P with ischemic stroke and myocardial infarction (MI) among women and Blacks have not been well studied. We hypothesized that HDL-P would consistently be associated with MI and stroke among women and Blacks compared with HDL-C.
Methods: We analyzed individual-level participant data in a pooled cohort of 4 large population studies without baseline atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease: DHS (Dallas Heart Study; n=2535), ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities; n=1595), MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis; n=6632), and PREVEND (Prevention of Renal and Vascular Endstage Disease; n=5022). HDL markers were analyzed in adjusted Cox proportional hazard models for MI and ischemic stroke.
Results: In the overall population (n=15 784), HDL-P was inversely associated with the combined outcome of MI and ischemic stroke, adjusted for cardiometabolic risk factors (hazard ratio [HR] for quartile 4 [Q4] versus quartile 1 [Q1], 0.64 [95% CI, 0.52-0.78]), as was HDL-C (HR for Q4 versus Q1, 0.76 [95% CI, 0.61-0.94]). Adjustment for HDL-C did not attenuate the inverse relationship between HDL-P and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, whereas adjustment for HDL-P attenuated all associations between HDL-C and events. HDL-P was inversely associated with the individual end points of MI and ischemic stroke in the overall population, including in women. HDL-P was inversely associated with MI among White participants but not among Black participants (HR for Q4 versus Q1 for Whites, 0.49 [95% CI, 0.35-0.69]; for Blacks, 1.22 [95% CI, 0.76-1.98]; Pinteraction=0.001). Similarly, HDL-C was inversely associated with MI among White participants (HR for Q4 versus Q1, 0.53 [95% CI, 0.36-0.78]) but had a weak direct association with MI among Black participants (HR for Q4 versus Q1, 1.75 [95% CI, 1.08-2.83]; Pinteraction<0.0001).
Conclusions: Compared with HDL-C, HDL-P was consistently associated with MI and ischemic stroke in the overall population. Differential associations of both HDL-C and HDL-P for MI by Black ethnicity suggest that atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk may differ by vascular domain and ethnicity. Future studies should examine individual outcomes separately.


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

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