• Excess coronary artery disease risk in South Asian immigrants: can dysfunctional high-density lipoprotein explain increased risk?

      Dodani, Sunita; Department of Medicine (2009-02-02)
      BACKGROUND: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the United States (US), and South Asian immigrants (SAIs) have a higher risk of CAD compared to Caucasians. Traditional risk factors may not completely explain high risk, and some of the unknown risk factors need to be explored. This short review is mainly focused on the possible role of dysfunctional high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in causing CAD and presents an overview of available literature on dysfunctional HDL. DISCUSSION: The conventional risk factors, insulin resistance parameters, and metabolic syndrome, although important in predicting CAD risk, may not sufficiently predict risk in SAIs. HDL has antioxidant, antiinflammatory, and antithrombotic properties that contribute to its function as an antiatherogenic agent. Recent Caucasian studies have shown HDL is not only ineffective as an antioxidant but, paradoxically, appears to be prooxidant, and has been found to be associated with CAD. Several causes have been hypothesized for HDL to become dysfunctional, including Apo lipoprotein A-I (Apo A-I) polymorphisms. New risk factors and markers like dysfunctional HDL and genetic polymorphisms may be associated with CAD. CONCLUSIONS: More research is required in SAIs to explore associations with CAD and to enhance early detection and prevention of CAD in this high risk group.