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Silent coronary artery disease in type 2 diabetes mellitus: the role of Lipoprotein(a), homocysteine and apo(a) polymorphism

Cardiovascular Diabetology
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1186/1475-2840-1-5
  • Original Investigation
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Background There is little data on the relationship between novel cardiovascular risk factors and silent coronary artery disease (CAD) in diabetic patients. We investigated whether Lipoprotein(a), homocysteine and apolipoprotein(a) polymorphism are associated with angiographically assessed asymptomatic coronary artery disease (CAD) in diabetic patients. Methods 1,971 type 2 diabetic patients without clinical signs of cardiovascular diseases and with a negative history of CAD were consecutively evaluated. Among them, 179 patients showed electrocardiographic abnormalities suggestive of ischemia or previous asymptomatic myocardial infarction. These 179 patients were subjected to a non-invasive test for CAD (ECG stress testing and/or scintigraphy). Among patients with a highly positive stress testing (n = 19) or a positive scintigraphy (n = 74), 75 showed an angiographically documented CAD (CAD group). Seventy-five patients without CAD (NO CAD group) were matched by age, sex and duration of diabetes to CAD patients. In NO CAD patients an exercise ECG test, a 48-hour ambulatory ECG and a stress echocardiogram were negative for CAD. Results Lipoprotein(a) levels (22.0 ± 18.9 versus 16.0 ± 19.4 mg/dl; p < 0.05), homocysteine levels (13.6 ± 6.6 versus 11.4 ± 4.9 mmol/l; p < 0.05) and the percentage of subjects with at least one small apolipoprotein(a) isoform (70.7% versus 29.3%; p < 0.0001) were higher in CAD than NO CAD group. Logistic regression analysis showed that apolipoprotein(a) polymorphism (OR:8.65; 95%CI:3.05–24.55), microalbuminuria (OR:6.16; 95%CI:2.21–17.18), smoking (OR:2.53; 95%CI:1.05–6.08), HDL (OR:3.16; 95%CI:1.28–7.81), homocysteine (OR:2.25; 95%CI:1.14–4.43) and Lipoprotein(a) (OR:2.62; 95%CI:1.01–6.79) were independent predictors of asymptomatic CAD. Conclusions The present investigation shows an independent association of Lipoprotein(a), homocysteine and apo(a) polymorphism with silent CAD. Other studies are needed to establish whether these parameters are suitable for CAD screening in diabetic patients.

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