2010 ACCF/AHA guideline for assessment of cardiovascular risk in asymptomatic adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines.
BACKGROUND Misclassification of patients as low cardiovascular risk (LCR) remains a major concern and challenges the efficacy of traditional risk markers. Due to its strong association with cholesterol acceptor capacity, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) size has been appointed as a potential risk marker. Hence, we investigate whether HDL size improves the predictive value of HDL-cholesterol in the identification of carotid atherosclerotic burden in individuals stratified to be at LCR. METHODS AND FINDINGS 284 individuals (40-75 years) classified as LCR by the current US guidelines were selected in a three-step procedure from primary care centers of the cities of Campinas and Americana, SP, Brazil. Apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins were precipitated by polyethylene glycol and HDL size was measured by dynamic light scattering (DLS) technique. Participants were classified in tertiles of HDL size (<7.57; 7.57-8.22; >8.22 nm). Carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) <0.90 mm (80th percentile) was determined by high resolution ultrasonography and multivariate ordinal regression models were used to assess the association between cIMT across HDL size and levels of lipid parameters. HDL-cholesterol was not associated with cIMT. In contrast, HDL size >8.22 nm was independently associated with low cIMT in either unadjusted and adjusted models for age, gender and Homeostasis Model Assessment 2 index for insulin sensitivity, ethnicity and body mass index (Odds ratio 0.23; 95% confidence interval 0.07-0.74, p = 0.013). CONCLUSION The mean HDL size estimated with DLS constitutes a better predictor for subclinical carotid atherosclerosis than the conventional measurements of plasma HDL-cholesterol in individuals classified as LCR.