Some studies have suggested that measurements of apolipoproteins may be valuable in the clinical assessment of susceptibility to coronary artery disease, over and above the lipoprotein lipids. Only a few of these studies have been prospective in nature and further knowledge is therefore needed to clarify the issue. The independent prognostic value of apolipoproteins (apo-B, apo-AI and apo[a]) with regard to coronary artery disease was estimated from a prospective survey among 1,332 randomly selected Icelandic men, aged 45 to 72 years, participating in a health survey from 1979 to 1981. The group was followed for 8.6 years, and during that period 104 men had fatal or nonfatal myocardial infarction. The Cox's proportional hazards model was used to estimate the significance of independent variables. The results of multivariate analysis showed that apo(a) was a significant independent risk factor (odds ratio 1.22 for 1 SD), but apo-AI was a stronger negative risk factor (odds ratio 0.70 for 1 SD). Apo-B was a highly significant risk factor in a univariate analysis, but not in a multivariate analysis when serum cholesterol was included. Previous population surveys in Iceland have confirmed the importance of cigarette smoking, cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure as risk factors for coronary artery disease. The present results illustrate additional importance of apo-AI and apo(a) concentrations in predicting coronary artery disease among Icelandic men, whereas apo-B did not contribute anything further to the prediction than serum total cholesterol.
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