Physiol. Res. 53: 481-486, 2004

Gender Differences in Plasma Levels of Lipoprotein (a) in Patients with Angiographically Proven Coronary Artery Disease


1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia,
Healthy Heart Program/Lipid Clinic, St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver B.C., Canada,
2Institute of Physiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic

Received July 22, 2003
Accepted November 6, 2003

The objective of the study was to assess the association between plasma levels of lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] and the presence of angiographically defined coronary artery disease (aCAD). Patients (346 men and 184 women) undergoing selective coronary angiography (SCA) were classified into groups with positive [aCAD(+)] and negative [aCAD(–)] findings and their age, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, blood pressure, smoking, plasma total, LDL-, HDL-cholesterol (TC, LDL-C, HDL-C), triglycerides (TG), apolipoprotein B (apoB), Log(TG/HDL-C) and TC/HDL-C were determined. Concentration of plasma Lp(a) was estimated using the commercial solid phase two-side immunoradiometric assay of apolipoprotein apo(a). The plasma Lp(a) was significantly higher in both women and men with aCAD(+) compared to those with aCAD(–). While there was no significant difference in the Lp(a) level between men and women with aCAD(–) (median 138 vs. 145 units/l), the women with aCAD(+) had almost twice as high Lp(a) levels as men (median 442 vs. 274 units/l, p<0.001). Women with aCAD(+) had also significantly lower HDL cholesterol levels (1.09 vs. 1.20 mmol/l, p<0.05), higher triglycerides (1.82 vs. 1.46 mmol/l, p<0.05) and Log(TG/HDL-C) than women with aCAD(–). The differences in Lp(a) between positive and negative findings remained highly significant (p<0.001 in women, p<0.05 in men) after the adjustment for age, plasma HDL- and LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides in logistic regression analyses. In logistic regression model the Lp(a) and Log(TG/HDL-C) and smoking in women but smoking and age in men were the most powerful predictors of positive aCAD findings. Our findings suggest that Lp(a) is more strongly associated with aCAD+ in women than in men.

Key words
Lipoprotein(a) • Gender • Coronary artery disease • Coronary angiography • Immunoradiometric assay

© 2004 by the Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences