Association between rheology and components of lipoproteins in human blood. Results from the MONICA project.
BACKGROUND Recent studies have suggested that several hemostatic factors, leukocyte count, and plasma viscosity are predictive of coronary heart disease. Detailed analyses on lifestyle correlates, in particular plasma lipids and lipoproteins, of determinants of blood rheology have not been reported from epidemiological studies.
METHODS AND RESULTS We studied the relation between determinants of blood rheology and components of lipoproteins in a large sample of a population aged 25-64 years. The rheological parameters investigated were plasma viscosity, hemoglobin, and total serum protein; the lipoprotein variables included total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and the apoproteins A-I, A-II, and B. Covariables considered for possible confounding effects were age, body mass index, smoking behavior, alcohol consumption, and hypertension. Plasma viscosity was found to have a positive linear association with total cholesterol and apoprotein B (partial correlations after adjustment for all covariables including total serum protein for men and women were r = 0.23/0.19 and 0.24/0.25, respectively) and a small negative linear association with HDL cholesterol (r = -0.14/-0.10) and with apoprotein A-I (r = -0.08/-0.06). Polynomial regression showed a strong quadratic relation with HDL cholesterol in men, whereas no other variable revealed an appreciable deviation from linearity. The covariables had only a small, if any, confounding effect. Total serum protein, after control for the covariables, appeared to be associated only with total cholesterol. No association was found with hemoglobin.
CONCLUSIONS We conclude that rheological mechanisms may be involved in the pathogenesis of ischemic syndromes in hyperlipidemias. However, the finding that in particular men with very low HDL cholesterol exhibit increased plasma viscosity cannot be explained in pure rheological terms but may be, at least in part, the result of concomitant hypertriglyceridemia. This was not assessed in this study.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association