The association of high-density lipoprotein particle (HDL-P) with atherosclerosis may be stronger than that of HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) and independent of conventional cardiovascular risk factors. Whether associations persist in populations at low risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) remains unclear. This study examines the associations of HDL-P and HDL-C with carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) and plaque counts among Japanese men, who characteristically have higher HDL-C levels and a lower CHD burden than those in men of Western populations. Methods: We cross-sectionally examined a community-based sample of 870 Japanese men aged 40-79 years, free of known clinical cardiovascular disease (CVD) and not on lipid-lowering medication. Participants were randomly selected among Japanese living in Kusatsu City in Shiga, Japan. Results: Both HDL-P and HDL-C were inversely and independently associated with cIMT in models adjusted for conventional CHD risk factors, including low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and diabetes. HDL-P maintained an association with cIMT after further adjustment for HDL-C (P<0.01), whereas the association of HDL-C with cIMT was noticeably absent after inclusion of HDL-P in the model. In plaque counts of the carotid arteries, HDL-P was significantly associated with a reduction in plaque count, whereas HDL-C was not. Conclusion: HDL-P, in comparison to HDL-C, is more strongly associated with measures of carotid atherosclerosis in a cross-sectional study of Japanese men. Findings demonstrate that, HDL-P is a strong correlate of subclinical atherosclerosis even in a population at low risk for CHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-450
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 1


  • Carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT)
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) particle
  • Plaque count
  • Subclinical atherosclerosis


Dive into the research topics of 'High-density lipoprotein particle concentration and subclinical atherosclerosis of the carotid arteries in Japanese men'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this