Very Large Database of Lipids: Rationale and Design

Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
Clinical Cardiology (Impact Factor: 2.23). 11/2013; 36(11). DOI: 10.1002/clc.22214
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Blood lipids have major cardiovascular and public health implications. Lipid-lowering drugs are prescribed based in part on categorization of patients into normal or abnormal lipid metabolism, yet relatively little emphasis has been placed on: (1) the accuracy of current lipid measures used in clinical practice, (2) the reliability of current categorizations of dyslipidemia states, and (3) the relationship of advanced lipid characterization to other cardiovascular disease biomarkers. To these ends, we developed the Very Large Database of Lipids (NCT01698489), an ongoing database protocol that harnesses deidentified data from the daily operations of a commercial lipid laboratory. The database includes individuals who were referred for clinical purposes for a Vertical Auto Profile (Atherotech Inc., Birmingham, AL), which directly measures cholesterol concentrations of low-density lipoprotein, very low-density lipoprotein, intermediate-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein, their subclasses, and lipoprotein(a). Individual Very Large Database of Lipids studies, ranging from studies of measurement accuracy, to dyslipidemia categorization, to biomarker associations, to characterization of rare lipid disorders, are investigator-initiated and utilize peer-reviewed statistical analysis plans to address a priori hypotheses/aims. In the first database harvest (Very Large Database of Lipids 1.0) from 2009 to 2011, there were 1 340 614 adult and 10 294 pediatric patients; the adult sample had a median age of 59 years (interquartile range, 49-70 years) with even representation by sex. Lipid distributions closely matched those from the population-representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The second harvest of the database (Very Large Database of Lipids 2.0) is underway. Overall, the Very Large Database of Lipids database provides an opportunity for collaboration and new knowledge generation through careful examination of granular lipid data on a large scale.

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