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High-density lipoproteins and adrenal steroidogenesis: A population-based study

BACKGROUND:

Cholesterol trafficked within plasma lipoproteins, in particular high-density lipoproteins (HDL), may represent an important source of cholesterol that is required for adrenal steroidogenesis. Based on a urinary gas chromatography method, compromised adrenal function has been suggested in men but not in women with (genetically determined) low plasma HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C).

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of the article was to examine the extent to which glucocorticoid production relates to HDL-C in a population-based cohort.

METHODS:

A total of 240 subjects (120 men and 120 women, aged 20-79 years) without relevant comorbidities were recruited from the general population. Glucocorticoid metabolites were measured by gas chromatography with tandem mass spectrometric detection in 24-hour urine collections to estimate total glucocorticoid production (TGP). Fasting plasma (apo)lipoproteins were assayed by routine methods.

RESULTS:

TGP was not decreased but tended to be increased in subjects with low HDL-C (NCEP-ATPIII criteria; P = .094). In univariate analysis, TPG was correlated inversely with HDL-C (r = -0.353, P < .001) and apoA-I (r = -0.263, P = .01). Multivariable linear regression analysis demonstrated that TGP was still inversely related to HDL-C (β = -0.145, P = .019) or alternatively to low HDL-C (β = -0.129, P = .013) taking age, sex, current smoking, and other metabolic syndrome components into account.

CONCLUSION:

In this population-based study, urinary glucocorticoid metabolite excretion was inversely associated with HDL-C. We found no evidence for an attenuated adrenal function in men and women with low HDL-C.

year of publication

2017

journal

  • J Clin Lipidol

author(s)

  • Buitenwerf, E
  • Kerstens, MN
  • Links, TP
  • Kema, IP
  • Dullaart, RPF

full publication

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