HealthDay News – Routinely measured lipid fractions may be associated with the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) and diabetes, according to a study published online August 3 in JAMA Cardiology.

Jon White, PhD, from University College London, and colleagues examined the correlation of 3 routinely measured lipid fractions with CAD and diabetes. Data from genome-wide association studies were used to construct genetic instruments, which were applied to examine the correlations between lipid fractions and the risk of CAD and diabetes using mendelian randomization (MR) approaches that accounted for pleiotropy of genetic instruments.

Researchers found that genetic instruments composed of 130 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were used for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), 140 SNPs for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and 140 SNPs for triglycerides, accounting for 7.9%, 6.6%, and 5.9% of variance, respectively. 

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Higher CAD risk was seen for a 1-standard deviation (SD) genetically instrumented elevation in LDL-C and triglyceride levels (odds ratios [OR]: 1.68 and 1.28, respectively). All 3 lipid traits correlated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, with ORs of 0.79 and 0.83 for LDL-C and HDL-C per 1-SD elevation. The MR estimates for diabetes were inconsistent for triglycerides.

“Routinely measured lipid fractions exhibit contrasting associations with the risk of CAD and diabetes,” the authors write. “This information will be relevant to the design of clinical trials of lipid-modifying agents, which should carefully monitor participants for dysglycemia and the incidence of diabetes.”

Disclosures: Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. The REVEAL trial was funded by Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.


  1. Saleheen D, Rader DJ, Voight BF. Disentangling the causal association of plasma lipid traits and type 2 diabetes using human genetics. JAMA Cardiol. 2016. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2016.2298.
  2. White J, Swerdlow DI, Preiss D, et al. Association of lipid fractions with risks for coronary artery disease and diabetes. JAMA Cardiol. 2016. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2016.1884.