Andrew P Levy

Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, H̱efa, Haifa District, Israel

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Publications (103)583.22 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Homozygosity for a 1.7 kb intragenic duplication of the Haptoglobin (Hp) gene (Hp 2-2 genotype), present in 36% of the population, has been associated with a 2-3 fold increased incidence of atherothrombosis in individuals with Diabetes (DM) in 10 longitudinal studies compared to DM individuals not homozygous for this duplication (Hp 1-1/2-1). The increased CVD risk associated with the Hp 2-2 genotype has been shown to be prevented with vitamin E supplementation in man. We sought to determine if there was an interaction between the Hp genotype and vitamin E on atherosclerotic plaque growth and stability in a transgenic model of the Hp polymorphism. Brachiocephalic artery atherosclerotic plaque volume was serially assessed by high resolution ultrasound in 28 Hp 1-1 and 26 Hp 2-2 mice in a C57Bl/6 ApoE(-/-) background. Hp 2-2 mice had more rapid plaque growth and an increased incidence of plaque hemorrhage and rupture. Vitamin E significantly reduced plaque growth in Hp 2-2 but not in Hp 1-1 mice with a significant pharmacogenomic interaction between the Hp genotype and vitamin E on plaque growth. These results may help explain why vitamin E supplementation in man can prevent CVD in Hp 2-2 DM but not in non Hp 2-2 DM individuals. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Atherosclerosis 01/2015; 239(1):232-239. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The major function of the Haptoglobin (Hp) protein is to control trafficking of extracorpuscular hemoglobin (Hb) thru the macrophage CD163 receptor with degradation of the Hb in the lysosome. There is a common copy number polymorphism in the Hp gene (Hp 2 allele) which has been associated with a several fold increased incidence of atherothrombosis in multiple longtidinal studies. Increased plaque oxidation and apoptotic markers have been observed in Hp 2-2 atherosclerotic plaques but the mechanism responsible for this finding has not been determined. We proposed that the increased oxidative injury in Hp 2-2 plaques is due to an impaired processing of Hp 2-2-Hb complexes within macrophage lysosomes thereby resulting in redox active iron accumulation, lysosomal membrane oxidative injury and macrophage apoptosis. We sought to test this hypothesis in vitro using purified Hp-Hb complex and cells genetically manipulated to express CD163. CD163 mediated endocytosis and lysosomal degradation of Hp-Hb were decreased for Hp 2-2-Hb complexes. Confocal microscopy, using lysotropic pH indicator dyes, demonstrated that uptake of Hp 2-2-Hb complexes disrupted the lysosomal pH gradient. Cellular fractionation studies of lysosomes isolated from macrophages incubated with Hp 2-2-Hb complexes demonstrated increased lysosomal membrane oxidation and a loss of lysosomal membrane integrity leading to lysosomal enzyme leakage into the cytoplasm. Additionally, markers of apoptosis, DNA fragmentation and active caspase-3 were increased in macrophages which had endocytosed Hp 2-2-Hb complexes. These data provide novel mechanistic insights into how the Hp genotype regulates lysosomal oxidative stress within macrophages following receptor-mediated endocytosis of Hb.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2014; · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • International journal of cardiology 12/2013; · 6.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with increased oxidative stress due to elevated glucose levels in the plasma. Glucose promotes glycosylation of both plasma and cellular proteins with increased risk for vascular events. Diabetic patients suffer from a higher incidence of cardiovascular complications such as diabetic nephropathy. Haptoglobin (Hp) is an antioxidant plasma protein which binds free hemoglobin, thus preventing heme-iron mediated oxidation. Two alleles exist at the Hp gene locus (1 and 2) encoding three possible Hp genotypes that differ in their antioxidant ability, and may respond differently to vitamin E treatment. Several clinical studies to have shown that Hp 1-1 genotype is a superior antioxidant to the Hp 2-2 genotype and Hp 2-2 genotype is associated with a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin E was found to have beneficial effect in patient and mice with Hp 2-2 genotype. In this review we have summarized the results of our studies in patients with diabetic nephropathy treated with vitamin E and in diabetic mice with different haptoglobin genotypes.
    World journal of nephrology. 11/2013; 2(4):111-124.
  • Journal of the American College of Cardiology 06/2013; · 15.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The haptoglobin (Hp) protein has been implicated in various aspects of reproduction. One possible mechanism is through its effect on angiogenesis. Angiogenesis plays a major role in follicle production. The Hp insertion polymorphism results in the production of Hp proteins denoted Hp 1-1, 2-1, and 2-2, with markedly different angiogenic activities. We sought to determine if the number of oocytes aspirated during in vitro fertilization is related to the Hp type and to compare clinical data and treatment outcomes. We conducted a prospective non-interventional study in an academic in vitro fertilization center serving northern Israel. All patients undergoing in vitro fertilization who agreed to have their haptoglobin phenotype and clinical data evaluated anonymously were included. The main outcome measure was the number of oocytes harvested from each aspiration. The groups did not differ regarding ethnicity or BMI, though women with the Hp1-1 phenotype had a longer duration of infertility (p = 0.037) and a higher gonadotropin requirement (p = 0.024) to achieve the same treatment outcome. Women with mechanical factor infertility were more likely (p = 0.042) to have the Hp 1-1/2-1 phenotypes than the Hp2-2 phenotype. There were no differences in the number of oocytes aspirated or the pregnancy rate. In summary, we could not establish a correlation between Hp phenotype and oocyte number or IVF outcomes though the Hp2-2 phenotype may be protective against mechanical factor infertility. Further studies with a larger sample size, particularly concerning the Hp1-1 phenotype, are required in order to extend these results.
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine 05/2013; · 1.85 Impact Factor
  • Moshe Vardi, Nina S Levy, Andrew P Levy
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    ABSTRACT: Vitamin E is a naturally occurring fat-soluble antioxidant which has been proposed as a treatment for both primary and secondary protection against cardiovascular (CV)events. Promising data from observational epidemiological studies associating higher vitamin E dietary intake with lower risk of CV events have not been validated in randomized, controlled clinical trials assessing the effect of vitamin E on CV outcomes. While the pendulum of medical opinion has swung to suggest that high dose vitamin E supplements have no place in the treatment and prevention of CV disease, new data is emerging that allows identification of a specific target population for this treatment, namely patients with Diabetes Mellitus and the haptoglobin genotype 2-2. This review details the scientific basis and clinical evidence related to the effect of vitamin E on CV outcomes, and the importance of proper patient selectionin gaining therapeutic benefit from this intervention.
    The Journal of Lipid Research 03/2013; · 4.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Haptoglobin (Hp) is an abundant serum protein which binds extracorpuscular hemoglobin (Hb). Two alleles exist in humans for the Hp gene, denoted 1 and 2. Diabetic individuals with the Hp 2-2 genotype are at increased risk of developing vascular complications including heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease. Recent evidence shows that treatment with vitamin E can reduce the risk of diabetic vascular complications by as much as 50% in Hp 2-2 individuals. We sought to develop a rapid and accurate test for Hp phenotype (which is 100% concordant with the three major Hp genotypes) to facilitate widespread diagnostic testing as well as prospective clinical trials. Methods: A monoclonal antibody raised against human Hp was shown to distinguish between the three Hp phenotypes in an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Hp phenotypes obtained in over 8000 patient samples using this ELISA method were compared with those obtained by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis or the TaqMan PCR method. Results: Our analysis showed that the sensitivity and specificity of the ELISA test for Hp 2-2 phenotype is 99.0% and 98.1%, respectively. The positive predictive value and the negative predictive value for Hp 2-2 phenotype is 97.5% and 99.3%, respectively. Similar results were obtained for Hp 2-1 and Hp 1-1 phenotypes. In addition, the ELISA was determined to be more sensitive and specific than the TaqMan method. Conclusions: The Hp ELISA represents a user-friendly, rapid and highly accurate diagnostic tool for determining Hp phenotypes. This test will greatly facilitate the typing of thousands of samples in ongoing clinical studies.
    Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine 03/2013; · 2.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is the leading cause of end stage renal disease and dialysis worldwide. Despite aggressive treatment, the number of patients on hemodialysis due to type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus is increasing annually. The lack of reliable animal models that mimic human disease has delayed the identification of specific factors that cause or predict DN. Different investigators around the world are testing different murine models. Validation criteria for early and advanced DN, phenotypic methods, background strain have recently been developed. Establishment of an authentic mouse model of DN will undoubtedly facilitate the understanding of the underlying genetic mechanisms that contribute to the development of DN and to study new treatments. Here we describe the characteristics of our new mouse model with type 1 diabetes mellitus and different haptoglobin genotypes that can mimic human DN.
    Diabetes research and clinical practice 03/2013; · 2.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In diabetes, there is an increase in oxidative stress due to elevated glucose levels in the plasma. High glucose promotes glycosylation, of both plasma and cellular proteins, which particularly affects the endothelial-cell lining of the blood vessel wall and interferes with its normal function. Thus, diabetes mellitus patients suffer from a higher incidence of cardiovascular complications such as atherosclerosis as compared with the nondiabetic population. Haptoglobin (Hp) is a plasma protein that binds free hemoglobin and prevents heme-iron mediated oxidation. There are three different types of Hp, which differ in their antioxidant ability. Several clinical studies have shown that the Hp 2-2 genotype is associated with higher incidence of cardiovascular diseases among diabetics. Vitamin E, a low-cost, easy-to-use antioxidant, was found to decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases in Hp 2-2 diabetic patients. This review summarizes several studies that show the importance of vitamin E supplementation in a specific subgroup of patients, diabetic individuals carrying the Hp 2-2 genotype.
    Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy 03/2013; 11(3):319-26.
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: This study sought to investigate into the biologically plausible interaction between the common haptoglobin (Hp) polymorphism rs#72294371 and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)) on risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). BACKGROUND: Studies of the association between the Hp polymorphism and CHD report inconsistent results. Individuals with the Hp2-2 genotype produce Hp proteins with an impaired ability to prevent oxidative injury caused by elevated HbA(1c). METHODS: HbA(1c) concentration and Hp genotype were determined for 407 CHD cases matched 1:1 to controls (from the NHS [Nurses' Health Study]) and in a replication cohort of 2,070 individuals who served as the nontreatment group in the ICARE (Israel Cardiovascular Events Reduction With Vitamin E) study, with 29 CHD events during follow-up. Multivariate models were adjusted for lifestyle and CHD risk factors as appropriate. A pooled analysis was conducted of NHS, ICARE, and the 1 previously published analysis (a cardiovascular disease case-control sample from the Strong Heart Study). RESULTS: In the NHS, Hp2-2 genotype (39% frequency) was strongly related to CHD risk only among individuals with elevated HbA(1c) (≥6.5%), an association that was similar in the ICARE trial and the Strong Heart Study. In a pooled analysis, participants with both the Hp2-2 genotype and elevated HbA(1c) had a relative risk of 7.90 (95% confidence interval: 4.43 to 14.10) for CHD compared with participants with both an Hp1 allele and HbA(1c) <6.5% (p for interaction = 0.004), whereas the Hp2-2 genotype with HbA(1c) <6.5% was not associated with risk (relative risk: 1.34 [95% confidence interval: 0.73 to 2.46]). CONCLUSIONS: Hp genotype was a significant predictor of CHD among individuals with elevated HbA(1c).
    Journal of the American College of Cardiology 01/2013; · 15.34 Impact Factor
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    Moshe Vardi, Shany Blum, Andrew P Levy
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    ABSTRACT: Diabetes mellitus carries a high risk for vascular events. Diabetics with different haptoglobin (Hp) types may carry different risk profiles, and may respond differently to vitamin E treatment. We aim to summarize the evidence about cardiovascular risk in diabetic patients, according to their Hp type, and the effect of vitamin E treatment on these sub-groups. We searched MEDLINE and on-going trials' databases until February 2011; gray literature; reference lists of identified articles; and experts. Two investigators screened and selected studies that prospectively followed cardiovascular outcomes in diabetic patients with different Hp types (natural history analysis), and randomized controlled trials reporting the effect of vitamin E on cardiovascular outcomes in diabetics, in which Hp typing was performed (interventional analysis). Five and three studies, comprising 1829 and 2110 patients, were eligible for the natural history and the interventional analyses, respectively. The percentage of diabetic patients experiencing non-fatal MI, stroke, or cardiovascular death was significantly higher in the Hp 2-2 population (odds ratio (OR) 2.03 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.46 to 2.81)). In patients with Hp 2-2 genotype, the OR for a combined endpoint was 0.66 in favor of the vitamin E treated group (95% CI 0.48 to 0.9). This effect was not shown in other Hp types. Hp type 2-2 carries a high risk of cardiovascular events in diabetic patients. A pharmacogenomic approach towards treatment of diabetic patients with vitamin E may be warranted.
    European Journal of Internal Medicine 10/2012; 23(7):628-32. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that increased oxidative stress is associated with apoptosis in human plaques with the haptoglobin (Hp) 2-2 genotype. Intraplaque hemorrhage releases free hemoglobin (Hb). Impaired Hb clearance induces oxidative stress leading to plaque progression. The binding of Hp to Hb attenuates iron-induced oxidative reactions. Twenty-six human aortic plaques were Hp genotyped. Hp2-2 plaques (n = 13) were compared with control (Hp1-1/2-1) (n = 13). The iron grade was measured by Perl's staining. Immunostaining was used to detect oxidation-specific epitopes (OSEs) reflecting oxidized phospholipids and malondialdehyde-like epitopes. The percentages of apoptotic cells and apoptotic morphological features were quantified. DNA fragmentation and active caspase-3 were measured by in situ end-labeling and immunohistochemistry, respectively. In Hp2-2 plaques, iron content was increased (1.22 ± 0.15 vs. 0.54 ± 0.08; p < 0.0001) along with expression of oxidized phospholipid- (78.9 ± 5.8 vs. 38.8 ± 3.8; p < 0.0001), and malondialdehyde-like OSEs (93.9 ± 7.9 vs. 54.7 ± 3.9; p < 0.0001). The total percentages of apoptotic cells (11.9 ± 0.44 vs. 3.5 ± 0.28; p < 0.0001), nuclear fragmentation (11.8 ± 0.50 vs. 3.3 ± 0.26; p < 0.0001), nuclear condensation (10.9 ± 0.58 vs. 3.4 ± 0.20; p < 0.0001), chromatin margination (14.2 ± 0.57 vs. 6.5 ± 0.37; p < 0.0001), cytoplasmic blebs (1.6 ± 0.28 vs. 0.8 ± 0.14; p < 0.002), and eosinophilia (10.8 ± 0.74 vs. 4.2 ± 0.27; p < 0.0001) were increased in Hp2-2 plaques. Furthermore, DNA fragmentation (119.9 ± 1.40 vs. 57.5 ± 0.80; p < 0.001), and active caspase-3 density (84.7 ± 7.62 vs. 50.6 ± 7.49; p < 0.004) were increased in Hp2-2 plaques. Logistic regression analysis identified correlation between the percentage of apoptotic cells and the density of OSEs (r = 0.56; p < 0.003). These findings provide insights into genetic predisposition to oxidative stress and the relationship between OSEs and macrophage apoptosis that may explain advanced atherosclerosis in human Hp2-2 plaques.
    Journal of the American College of Cardiology 07/2012; 60(2):112-9. · 15.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The haptoglobin (Hp) genotype is a major determinant of progression of nephropathy in individuals with diabetes mellitus (DM). The major function of the Hp protein is to bind and modulate the fate of extracorpuscular hemoglobin and its iron cargo. We have previously demonstrated an interaction between the Hp genotype and the DM on the accumulation of iron in renal proximal tubule cells. The primary objective of this study was to determine the intracellular localization of this iron in the proximal tubule cell and to assess its potential toxicity. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated a marked accumulation of electron-dense deposits in the lysosomes of proximal tubules cells in Hp 2-2 DM mice. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy were used to perform elemental analysis of these deposits and demonstrated that these deposits were iron rich. These deposits were associated with lysosomal membrane lipid peroxidation and loss of lysosomal membrane integrity. Vitamin E administration to Hp 2-2 DM mice resulted in a significant decrease in both intralysosomal iron-induced oxidation and lysosomal destabilization. Iron-induced renal tubular injury may play a major role in the development of diabetic nephropathy and may be a target for slowing the progression of renal disease.
    Free Radical Biology and Medicine 06/2012; 53(4):779-86. · 5.27 Impact Factor
  • Tina Costacou, Andrew P Levy
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    ABSTRACT: Over the past decade, several longitudinal epidemiological studies have brought attention to the haptoglobin genotype and its importance in determining diabetic vascular disease risk. This manuscript presents an overview of the biology of the haptoglobin genotype and reviews the literature concerning its role in the development of cardiovascular disease among individuals with diabetes mellitus.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research 03/2012; 5(4):423-35. · 3.06 Impact Factor
  • Hagit Goldenstein, Nina S Levy, Andrew P Levy
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    ABSTRACT: Haptoglobin (Hp) is a hemoglobin (Hb) binding protein whose major function is to prevent heme-iron mediated oxidation. The polymorphic nature of the Hp gene results in varying levels of antioxidant function associated with the protein products. Multiple clinical studies have now determined that the Hp 2-2 genotype is associated with an increased risk of developing vascular complications in patients suffering from diabetes. The mechanism for this phenomenon is a decrease in antioxidant capability associated with the Hp 2-2 protein. Specifically, heme iron associated with the Hp2-2/Hb complex is more redox active than other Hp type complexes and has been shown in a number of systems to lead to increased levels of oxidative stress in the form of oxidized lipids and decreased lipoprotein function. In addition, Hp 2-2/Hb complexes are cleared less efficiently from the circulation, leading to a buildup of iron in the plasma and in tissues. Recent analyses from clinical studies utilizing vitamin E treatment have shown beneficial results specifically in the diabetic Hp 2-2 genotype population. The use of vitamin E in the treatment of Hp 2-2 diabetics has the potential to greatly reduce medical costs and improve quality of life in the ever-growing diabetic population.
    Pharmacological Research 03/2012; 66(1):1-6. · 3.98 Impact Factor
  • Moshe Vardi, Andrew P Levy
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    ABSTRACT: Diabetes mellitus (DM) carries an increased risk for cardiovascular complications. Haptoglobin (Hp) is an abundant plasma protein with an antioxidant function by virtue of its ability to block the oxidative activity of extracorpuscular hemoglobin. There exist two common functional alleles at the Hp genetic locus, denoted 1 and 2, with three Hp genotypes (Hp 1-1, 2-1, and 2-2). The Hp protein expressed in Hp 2-2 individuals is markedly inferior in protecting against hemoglobin-induced oxidative stress. Hp 2-2 DM individuals have been shown to be at increased risk for the development of diabetes complications, particularly diabetic cardiovascular disease (CVD). We review the biological mechanisms underlying the interaction between the Hp genotype and DM on CVD and the accumulating evidence in favor of Hp genotyping all individuals with DM and providing antioxidant vitamin E supplementation specifically to Hp 2-2 DM individuals to reduce their CVD morbidity and mortality.
    Current Diabetes Reports 03/2012; 12(3):274-9. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    Dan Farbstein, Andrew P Levy
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    ABSTRACT: HDL is known to be inversely correlated with cardiovascular disease due to its diverse antiatherogenic functions. These functions include cholesterol efflux and reverse cholesterol transport, antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities. However, HDL has been shown to undergo a loss of function in several pathophysiological states, as in the acute phase response, obesity and chronic inflammatory diseases. Some of these diseases were also shown to be associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease. One such disease that is associated with HDL dysfunction and accelerated atherosclerosis is diabetes mellitus, a disease in which the HDL particle undergoes diverse structural modifications that result in significant changes in its function. This review will summarize the changes that occur in HDL in diabetes mellitus and how these changes lead to HDL dysfunction. Possible treatments for HDL dysfunction are also briefly described.
    Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy 03/2012; 10(3):353-61.
  • Nina S. Levy, Andrew P. Levy
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    ABSTRACT: Most life forms on the Earth depend on oxygen for continued existence. However, periods of low oxygen (hypoxia) can be tolerated and are even inherent in normal development and function such as during embryogenesis and strenuous exercise. The process of adapting to prolonged hypoxia involves activation of a new genetic program which, if not precisely orchestrated, can result in cell death. It is perhaps not surprising that multiple pathways have evolved for ensuring the up-regulation of essential genes necessary for hypoxic adaptation. This review will describe mechanisms of cellular adaptation to hypoxia with special emphasis on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), one of the most ubiquitous and extensively studied hypoxia-inducible genes. VEGF is known to be up-regulated at the level of transcription and mRNA stabilization due to the action of multiple factors which can act independently or in concert. A number of mechanisms for targeting specific genes for increased mRNA translation during hypoxia have been elucidated and will be discussed with respect to VEGF.
    12/2011: pages 113-128;
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    ABSTRACT: Coronary artery disease has been linked with genotypes for haptoglobin (Hp) which modulates extracorpuscular hemoglobin. We hypothesized that the Hp genotype would predict progression of coronary artery calcification (CAC), a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis. CAC was measured three times in six years among 436 subjects with type 1 diabetes and 526 control subjects participating in the Coronary Artery Calcification in Type 1 Diabetes (CACTI) study. Hp typing was performed on plasma samples by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The Hp 2-2 genotype predicted development of significant CAC only in subjects with diabetes who were free of CAC at baseline (OR: 1.95, 95% CI: 1.07-3.56, p = 0.03), compared to those without the Hp 2-2 genotype, controlling for age, sex, blood pressure and HDL-cholesterol. Hp 2 appeared to have an allele-dose effect on development of CAC. Hp genotype did not predict CAC progression in individuals without diabetes. Hp genotype may aid prediction of accelerated coronary atherosclerosis in subjects with type 1 diabetes.
    Cardiovascular Diabetology 11/2011; 10:99. · 3.71 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
583.22 Total Impact Points


  • 1999–2013
    • Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
      • • Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine
      • • Rambam Medical Center
      H̱efa, Haifa District, Israel
  • 2012
    • Carmel Medical Center
      H̱efa, Haifa District, Israel
    • University of Pittsburgh
      • Department of Epidemiology
      Pittsburgh, PA, United States
  • 2010
    • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
      Manhattan, New York, United States
  • 2004–2009
    • Rambam Medical Center
      • • Department of Nephrology
      • • Department of Cardiology
      H̱efa, Haifa District, Israel
  • 2008
    • Mount Sinai Medical Center
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2001
    • University of Haifa
      • Institute of Evolution
      Haifa, Haifa District, Israel