Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (OxLDL) and autoantibodies to OxLDL (aOxLDL) are implicated in the development of atherosclerosis. The objective of this study was to determine the importance of these factors in hypertension, a major risk factor for atherosclerosis. Samples were obtained from 111 men with established hypertension (diastolic pressure >95 mmHg) from the Swedish component of an ongoing hypertension study (European Lacidipine study on Atherosclerosis, ELSA) and from 75 normotensive control men, who were from a Swedish population-screening programme (diastolic pressure <80 mmHg). The presence of carotid atherosclerosis and the intima-media thicknesses were determined by ultrasonography. A monoclonal antibody to OxLDL, EO6, was used to determine oxidation epitopes in LDL. aOxLDL of IgG and IgM subclass were tested by ELISA against OxLDL. Hypertensive men had increased OxLDL levels compared with normotensives (P=0.002), whereas autoantibodies tested were largely similar between groups. There was no association between the antibodies tested, or OxLDL and carotid atherosclerosis. Age was not associated with OxLDL or aOxLDL measurements. Taken together, our findings indicate that OxLDL is elevated in hypertensive men, which may predispose to atherosclerosis in hypertension. In contrast, aOxLDL levels were unchanged and the role of aOxLDL may depend on disease stage and/or type.

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