Diabetes status modifies the long-term effect of lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 on major coronary events

Moneeza K. Siddiqui (Lead / Corresponding author), Gillian Smith, Pamela St. Jean, Adem Y. Dawed, Samira Bell, Enrique Soto-Pedre, Gwen Kennedy, Fiona Carr, Lars Wallentin, Harvey D. White, Colin H. Macphee, Dawn M. Waterworth, Colin N. A. Palmer

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Aims/hypothesis: Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) activity has an independent prognostic association with major coronary events (MCE). However, no study has investigated whether type 2 diabetes status modifies the effect of Lp-PLA2 activity or inhibition on the risk of MCE. We investigate the interaction between diabetes status and Lp-PLA2 activity with risk of MCE. Subsequently, we test the resulting hypothesis that diabetes status will play a role in modifying the efficacy of an Lp-PLA2 inhibitor.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study design was utilised in two study populations. Discovery analyses were performed in the Genetics of Diabetes Audit and Research in Tayside Scotland (GoDARTS) cohort based in Scotland, UK. Participants were categorised by type 2 diabetes control status: poorly controlled (HbA 1c ≥ 48 mmol/mol or ≥6.5%) and well-controlled (HbA 1c < 48 mmol/mol or <6.5%) diabetes (n = 7420). In a secondary analysis of the Stabilization of Atherosclerotic Plaque by Initiation of Darapladib Therapy (STABILITY) trial of Lp-PLA2 inhibitor (darapladib) efficacy, 15,828 participants were stratified post hoc by type 2 diabetes diagnosis status (diabetes or no diabetes) at time of recruitment. Lp-PLA2 activity was then divided into population-specific quartiles. MCE were determined from linked medical records in GoDARTS and trial records in STABILITY. First, the interaction between diabetes control status and Lp-PLA2 activity on the outcome of MCE was explored in GoDARTS. The effect was replicated in the placebo arm of STABILITY. The effect of Lp-PLA2 on MCE was then examined in models stratified by diabetes status. This helped determine participants at higher risk. Finally, the effect of Lp-PLA2 inhibition was assessed in STABILITY in the higher risk group. Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for confounders were used to assess associations.

Results: In GoDARTS, a significant interaction between increased Lp-PLA2 activity (continuous and quartile divided) and diabetes control status was observed in the prediction of MCE (p < 0.0001). These effects were replicated in the placebo arm of STABILITY (p < 0.0001). In GoDARTS, stratified analyses showed that, among individuals with poorly controlled diabetes, the hazards of MCE for those with high (Q4) Lp-PLA2 activity was 1.19 compared with individuals with lower (Q1–3) Lp-PLA2 activity (95% CI 1.11, 1.38; p < 0.0001) and 1.35 (95% CI 1.16, 1.57; p < 0.0001) when compared with those with the lowest activity (Q1). Those in the higher risk group were identified as individuals with the highest Lp-PLA2 activity (Q4) and poorly controlled diabetes or diabetes. Based on these observations in untreated populations, we hypothesised that the Lp-PLA2 inhibitor would have more benefit in this higher risk group. In this risk group, Lp-PLA2 inhibitor use was associated with a 33% reduction in MCE compared with placebo (HR 0.67 [95% CI 0.50, 0.90]; p = 0.008). In contrast, Lp-PLA2 inhibitor showed no efficacy in individuals with low activity, regardless of diabetes status, or among those with no baseline diabetes and high Lp-PLA2 activity.

Conclusions/interpretation: These results support the hypothesis that diabetes status modifies the association between Lp-PLA2 activity and MCE. These results suggest that cardiovascular morbidity and mortality associated with Lp-PLA2 activity is especially important in patients with type 2 diabetes, particularly those with worse glycaemic control. Further investigation of the effects of Lp-PLA2 inhibition in diabetes appears warranted

Data availability: STABILITY trial data are available from clinicaltrials.gov repository through the GlaxoSmithKline clinical study register https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00799903. GoDARTS datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available following request to the GoDARTS Access Managements Group https://godarts.org/scientific-community/.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-112
Number of pages12
Early online date25 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Epidemiology
  • Clinical diabetes
  • Major coronary events
  • type 2 diabetes
  • Precision medicine
  • Lipids.lipoproteins
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Lipoproteins
  • Lipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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