HDL cholesterol efflux capacity in rheumatoid arthritis patients: contributing factors and relationship with subclinical atherosclerosis
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AuthorTejera Segura, Beatriz; Macía Díaz, María; Machado, José David; Vera González, Antonia de; García Dopico, Jose A.; Olmos Martínez, José Manuel; Hernández Hernández, José Luis; Díaz González, Federico; González-Gay Mantecón, Miguel Ángel; Ferraz Amaro, Iván
Background: Lipid profiles appear to be altered in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients because of disease activity and inflammation. Cholesterol efflux capacity (CEC), which is the ability of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol to accept cholesterol from macrophages, has been linked not only to cardiovascular events in the general population but also to being impaired in patients with RA. The aim of this study was to establish whether CEC is related to subclinical carotid atherosclerosis in patients with RA. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study that encompassed 401 individuals, including 178 patients with RA and 223 sex-matched control subjects. CEC, using an in vitro assay, lipoprotein serum concentrations, and standard lipid profile, was assessed in patients and control subjects. Carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) and carotid plaques were assessed in patients with RA. A multivariable analysis was performed to evaluate the relationship of CEC with RA-related data, lipid profile, and subclinical carotid atherosclerosis. Results: Mean (SD) CEC was not significantly different between patients with RA (18.9 ± 9.0%) and control subjects (16.9 ± 10.4%) (p = 0.11). Patients with RA with low (? coefficient ?5.2 [?10.0 to 0.3]%, p = 0.039) and moderate disease activity (? coefficient ?4.6 [?8.5 to 0.7]%, p = 0.020) were associated with lower levels of CEC than patients in remission. Although no association with CIMT was found, higher CEC was independently associated with a lower risk for the presence of carotid plaque in patients with RA (odds ratio 0.94 [95% CI 0.89?0.98], p = 0.015). Conclusions: CEC is independently associated with carotid plaque in patients with RA.