Cross-sectional study of risk factors for atherosclerosis in the Azorean population

Teresa Cymbron, Mafalda Raposo, Nadiya Kazachkova, Conceição Bettencourt, Francisca Silva, Cristina Santos, Yahya Dahmani, Paula Lourenço, Rita Ferin, Maria Leonor Pavão, Manuela Lima

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Atherosclerosis - a major cause of vascular disease, including ischemic heart disease (IHD), is a pathology that has a two-fold higher mortality rate in the Azorean Islands compared to mainland Portugal. Aim: This cross-sectional study investigated the role of genetic variation in the prevalence of atherosclerosis in this population. Subjects and methods: A total of 305 individuals were characterized for polymorphisms in eight susceptibility genes for atherosclerosis: ACE, PAI1, NOS3, LTA, FGB, ITGB3, PON1 and APOE. Data were analysed with respect to phenotypic characteristics such as blood pressure, lipid profile, life-style risk factors and familial history of myocardial infarction. Results: In the total sample, frequencies for hypercholestrolemic, hypertensive and obese individuals were 63.6%, 39.3% and 23.3%, respectively. The genetic profile was similar to that observed in other European populations, namely in mainland Portugal. No over-representation of risk alleles was evidenced in this sample. Conclusions: One has to consider the possibility of an important non-genetic influence on the high cholesterolemia present in the Azorean population. Since diet is the most important life-style risk factor for dyslipidemia, studies aiming to evaluate the dietary characteristics of this population and its impact on serum lipid levels will be of major importance. © 2011 Informa UK, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-359
JournalAnnals of Human Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011


  • Azores
  • Polymorphisms
  • atherosclerosis
  • ischemic heart disease
  • susceptibility genes


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