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BACKGROUND AND AIMS: While low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is a good predictor of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, apolipoprotein B (ApoB) is superior when the two markers are discordant. We aimed to determine the impact of adiposity, diet and inflammation upon ApoB and LDL-C discordance. METHODS AND RESULTS: Machine learning (ML) and structural equation models (SEMs) were applied to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to investigate cardiometabolic and dietary factors when LDL-C and ApoB are concordant/discordant. Mendelian randomisation (MR) determined whether adiposity and inflammation exposures were causal of elevated/decreased LDL-C and/or ApoB. ML showed body mass index (BMI), dietary saturated fatty acids (SFA), dietary fibre, serum C-reactive protein (CRP) and uric acid were the most strongly associated variables (R2 = 0.70) in those with low LDL-C and high ApoB. SEMs revealed that fibre (b = -0.42, p = 0.001) and SFA (b = 0.28, p = 0.014) had a significant association with our outcome (joined effect of ApoB and LDL-C). BMI (b = 0.65, p = 0.001), fibre (b = -0.24, p = 0.014) and SFA (b = 0.26, p = 0.032) had significant associations with CRP. MR analysis showed genetically higher body fat percentage had a significant causal effect on ApoB (Inverse variance weighted (IVW) = Beta: 0.172, p = 0.0001) but not LDL-C (IVW = Beta: 0.006, p = 0.845). CONCLUSION: Our data show increased discordance between ApoB and LDL-C is associated with cardiometabolic, clinical and dietary abnormalities and that body fat percentage is causal of elevated ApoB.

Original publication




Journal article


Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis

Publication Date





605 - 615


Adiposity, Apolipoprotein B, Inflammation, Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, Nutrition, Adiposity, Apolipoprotein B-100, Apolipoproteins B, Cholesterol, LDL, Diet, Humans, Inflammation, Nutrition Surveys