We investigated associations of plasma lipoproteins with subclinical interstitial lung disease (ILD) by measuring high attenuation areas (HAA: lung voxels between -600 and -250 Hounsfield units) in 6700 adults and serum MMP-7 and SP-A in 1216 adults age 45-84 without clinical cardiovascular disease in Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. In cross-sectional analyses, each SD decrement in high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) was associated with a 2.12% HAA increment (95% CI 1.44% to 2.79%), a 3.53% MMP-7 increment (95% CI 0.93% to 6.07%) and a 6.37% SP-A increment (95% CI 1.35% to 11.13%), independent of demographics, smoking and inflammatory biomarkers. These findings support a novel hypothesis that HDL-C might influence subclinical lung injury and extracellular matrix remodelling.
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