Plasma oxidized low-density lipoprotein levels and arterial stiffness in older adults the health, aging, and body composition study

Tina E. Brinkley, Barbara J. Nicklas, Alka M. Kanaya, Suzanne Satterfield, Edward G. Lakatta, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Kim Sutton-Tyrrell, Stephen B. Kritchevsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Arterial stiffness is a prominent feature of vascular aging and is strongly related to cardiovascular disease. Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL), a key player in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, may also play a role in arterial stiffening, but this relationship has not been well studied. Thus, we examined the cross-sectional association between ox-LDL and aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV), a marker of arterial stiffness, in community-dwelling older adults. Plasma ox-LDL levels and aPWV were measured in 2295 participants (mean age: 74 years; 52% female; 40% black) from the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study. Mean aPWV significantly increased across tertiles of ox-LDL (tertile 1: 869±376 cm/s; tertile 2: 901 ±394 cm/s; tertile 3: 938±415 cm/s; P=0.002). In multivariate analyses, ox-LDL remained associated with aPWV after adjustment for demographics and traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors (P=0.008). After further adjustment for hemoglobin A1c, abdominal visceral fat, antihypertensive and antilipemic medications, and C-reactive protein, the association with ox-LDL was attenuated but remained significant (P=0.01). Results were similar when ox-LDL was expressed in absolute (milligrams per deciliter) or relative amounts (percentage of low-density lipoprotein). Moreover, individuals in the highest ox-LDL tertile were 30% to 55% more likely to have high arterial stiffness, defined as aPWV >75th percentile (P≤0.02). In conclusion, we found that, among elderly persons, elevated plasma ox-LDL levels were associated with higher arterial stiffness, independent of cardiovascular disease risk factors. These data suggest that ox-LDL may be related to the pathogenesis of arterial stiffness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)846-852
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Aortic stiffness
  • Epidemiology
  • Oxidative stress
  • Pulse wave velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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