Sequence variation in proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 serine protease gene, low LDL cholesterol, and cancer incidence

Aaron R. Folsom, James M. Peacock, Eric Boerwinkle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Some prospective epidemiologic studies have suggested that a low plasma cholesterol level may be associated with increased risk of cancer. Certain sequence variants in the proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 serine protease gene (PCSK9) are associated with lifelong low total and LDL cholesterol. We therefore analyzed the association of PCSK9 variation with incidence of cancer between 1987 and 2000 in a prospective study (n = 13,250). The frequency of the PCSK9 variants studied was 2.4% in blacks and 3.2% in whites. Neither was associated with increased cancer incidence: age- and sex-adjusted hazard ratios were 0.66 [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.31-1.39] in blacks and 0.77 (95% CI, 0.54-1.09) in whites. Low baseline total or LDL cholesterol levels in 1987 to 1989 were also not statistically significantly associated with incident cancer: multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios for the lowest compared with the highest quartiles of LDL cholesterol were 1.05 (95% CI, 0.78-1.40) in blacks and 1.16 (95% CI, 0.99-1.36) in whites. These data suggest that a lifelong low cholesterol concentration, as reflected by these PCSK9 variants, does not increase risk of cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2455-2458
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Volume16
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007

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