Plasma lipids and lipoproteins and the incidence of cardiovascular disease in very elderly. The Bronx Aging Study

Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, N.Y.
Arteriosclerosis and thrombosis: a journal of vascular biology / American Heart Association 05/1992; 12(4):416-23. DOI: 10.1161/01.ATV.12.4.416
Source: PubMed


The Bronx Aging Study is a 10-year prospective investigation of very elderly volunteers (mean age at study entry, 79 years; range, 75-85 years) designed to assess risk factors for dementia and coronary and cerebrovascular (stroke) diseases. Entry criteria included the absence of terminal illness and dementia. All subjects (n = 350) included in this report had at least two lipid and lipoprotein determinations. Overall, more than one third of subjects showed at least a 10% change in lipid and lipoprotein levels between the initial and final measurements. Moreover, mean levels for women were consistently different than those for men, and because of this finding subjects were classified into potential-risk categories based on the changes observed by using their sex-specific lipid and lipoprotein distributions. The incidences of cardiovascular disease, dementia, and death were compared between risk groups. Proportional-hazards analysis showed that in men a consistently low high density lipoprotein cholesterol level (less than or equal to 30 mg/dl) was independently associated with the development of myocardial infarction (p = 0.006), cardiovascular disease (p = 0.002), or death (p = 0.002). For women, however, a consistently elevated low density lipoprotein cholesterol level (greater than or equal to 171 mg/dl) was associated with myocardial infarction (p = 0.032). Thus, low high density lipoprotein cholesterol remains a powerful predictor of coronary heart disease risk for men even into old age, while elevated low density lipoprotein cholesterol continues to play a role in the development of myocardial infarction in women. The findings suggest that an unfavorable lipoprotein profile increases the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality even at advanced ages for both men and women.

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    • "Juan Domingo Perón 4190 2nd floor (C1181ACH) Buenos Aires, Argentina; Tel: 054 11 4958 4454; Fax: 054 11 4958 4454; E-mail: and cohort studies have found that risk related to plasma lipid levels is lower in the elderly [4] [5] while others have found no such difference. However, there still may be sex differences in this risk [6] [7] [8]. "
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