Background: Oxidation of low density lipoproteins is an initial step of atherogenesis that generates pro-inflammatory phospholipids, including platelet-activating factor (PAF). PAF is degraded by PAF-acetylhydrolase (PAF-AH), which has been postulated to be a risk factor for myocardial infarction (MI). The role of PAF-AH for the onset of premature MI is unclear. Methods: Polymorphisms located in putatively functional regions were investigated in a cohort of patients having premature MI onset prior to 46 years of age (n = 200) and a sex-age-matched control group (n = 200). The activity of PAFAH and coronary angiograms were evaluated for the severity of coronary atherosclerosis. Results: The Vallele of A379V (e xon 11) polymorphism on PAF-AH gene was more frequent in patients with premature MI (P = 0.001). This V allele polymorphism was also associated with a lower activity of plasma PAF-AH and a more complex coronary atherosclerosis (p Trends < 0.05). Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that this polymorphism was an independent risk factor (Odds Ratio [OR] 1.66, 95% CI 1.14.1 to 5.80, P = 0.008) as well as smoking (OR 3.72, 95% CI 1.77 to 9.28, P = 0.001), diabetes mellitus (OR 2.25, 95% CI 1.40 to 5.32, P = 0.007) and hypertension (OR1.88, 95% CI 1.25 to 5.36, P = 0.003) for the onset of premature MI. Conclusion: We conclude that a functional and significant association between the A379V polymorphism on exon 11 of PAF-AH gene and premature MI exists in this Taiwanese population. This polymorphism is significantly associated with the PAF-AH activity and the severity of coronary atherosclerosis.
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