Title

Effect of long-term exposure to lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol beginning early in life on the risk of coronary heart disease: A mendelian randomization analysis

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to estimate the effect of long-term exposure to lower plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) on the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Background: LDL-C is causally related to the risk of CHD. However, the association between long-term exposure to lower LDL-C beginning early in life and the risk of CHD has not been reliably quantified. Methods: We conducted a series of meta-analyses to estimate the effect of long-term exposure to lower LDL-C on the risk of CHD mediated by 9 polymorphisms in 6 different genes. We then combined these Mendelian randomization studies in a meta-analysis to obtain a more precise estimate of the effect of long-term exposure to lower LDL-C and compared it with the clinical benefit associated with the same magnitude of LDL-C reduction during treatment with a statin. Results: All 9 polymorphisms were associated with a highly consistent reduction in the risk of CHD per unit lower LDL-C, with no evidence of heterogeneity of effect (I2 = 0.0%). In a meta-analysis combining nonoverlapping data from 312,321 participants, naturally random allocation to long-term exposure to lower LDL-C was associated with a 54.5% (95% confidence interval: 48.8% to 59.5%) reduction in the risk of CHD for each mmol/l (38.7 mg/dl) lower LDL-C. This represents a 3-fold greater reduction in the risk of CHD per unit lower LDL-C than that observed during treatment with a statin started later in life (p = 8.43 × 10-19). Conclusions: Prolonged exposure to lower LDL-C beginning early in life is associated with a substantially greater reduction in the risk of CHD than the current practice of lowering LDL-C beginning later in life. © 2012 American College of Cardiology Foundation.

Publication Date

12-25-2012

Publication Title

Journal of the American College of Cardiology

ISSN

07351097

E-ISSN

15583597

Volume

60

Issue

25

First Page

2631

Last Page

2639

PubMed ID

23083789

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1016/j.jacc.2012.09.017

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