Apolipoprotein, low density lipoprotein subfraction, and insulin associations with familial combined hyperlipidemia. Study of Utah patients with familial dyslipidemic hypertension

Steven Hunt, L. L. Wu, P. N. Hopkins, B. M. Stults, H. Kuida, M. E. Ramirez, J. M. Lalouel, R. R. Williams

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Familial dyslipidemic hypertension (FDH) is a syndrome recently described from sibships selected for early familial hypertension and found to have one or more of three fasting lipid abnormalities [high triglycerides, low high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, high low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol]. In further analyses of these same 131 hypertensive subjects, apolipoprotein A-I and B, fasting plasma insulin (adjusted for body mass index), and detailed anthropometrics were different in two subgroups of FDH. Of 63 FDH patients, 19 met the criteria for familial combined hyperlipidemia (FCHL); 44 did not, but still had triglyceride and/or low HDL cholesterol levels. When compared to 20 normolipidemic hypertensive patients, the 19 hypertensive patients with FCHL had 196% higher very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (p = 0.0001), 33% higher apolipoprotein B (p = 0.0002), smaller LDL particles (p = 0.007), and 73% higher fasting insulin (p = 0.003), but no significant differences in body mass index or skinfold thicknesses. The other 44 FDH patients without FCHL had 33% lower HDL (p = 0.0001), but only 8% lower apolipoprotein A-I levels (p = 0.20); significantly higher subscapular (p = 0.02), weights (p = 0.002), body mass index (p = 0.006), knee widths (p = 0.0007), and wrist circumferences (p = 0.0009); smaller, denser LDL subfractions (p = 0.001); and increased apolipoprotein B levels (p = 0.01) compared to the normolipidemic hypertensive group. Increased fasting insulin levels were similar to the normolipidemic group and significantly lower than the FCHL group after adjustment for body mass index, suggesting a relationship between obesity and fasting insulin levels only in the non-FCHL group. We conclude that FDH consists of at least two subgroups: 1) FCHL with high apolipoprotein B, small LDL particles, and increased fasting plasma insulin levels, and 2) a less well-defined residual having upper obesity with low HDL cholesterol and high triglyceride levels. Elevated insulin levels found in both groups, but possibly originating through different physiological mechanisms, may provide the pathophysiological connections between dysplasia, obesity, and hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-344
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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