Associations of Circulating Oxidized LDL and Conventional Biomarkers of Cardiovascular Disease in a Cross-Sectional Study of the Navajo Population. Academic Article uri icon


  • The prevalences of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) have increased among the Navajo Native American community in recent decades. Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) is a novel CVD biomarker that has never been assessed in the Navajo population. We examined the relationship of oxLDL to conventional CVD and T2D risk factors and biomarkers in a cross-sectional population of Navajo participants. This cross-sectional study included 252 participants from 20 Navajo communities from the Diné Network for Environmental Health Project. Plasma samples were tested for oxLDL levels by a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to determine the relationship of oxLDL and oxidized- to non-oxidized lipoprotein ratios to glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin 6 (IL6) and demographic and health variables. Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and obesity are very prevalent in this Navajo population. HbA1c, CRP, body mass index (BMI), high-density lipoprotein, and triglycerides were at levels that may increase risk for CVD and T2D. Median oxLDL level was 47 (36.8-57) U/L. Correlational analysis showed that although oxLDL alone was not associated with HbA1c, oxLDL/HDL, oxLDL/LDL and CRP were significantly associated with HbA1c and glucose. OxLDL, oxLDL/HDL and oxLDL/LDL were significantly associated with CRP. Multivariate analysis showed that triglycerides were a common and strong predictor of oxLDL, oxLDL/HDL and oxLDL/LDL. OxLDL was trended with HbA1c and glucose but did not reach significance, however, HbA1c was an independent predictor of OxLDL/HDL. CRP trended with oxLDL/HDL and was a weak predictor of oxLDL/LDL. This Navajo subset appears to have oxLDL levels comparable to subjects without evidence of CVD reported in other studies. The high prevalence of T2D, hypertension and obesity along with abnormal levels of other biomarkers including HbA1c indicate that the Navajo population has a worsening CVD risk profile.

publication date

  • 2016