High vitamin E plasma levels and low low-density lipoprotein oxidation are associated with the absence of atherosclerosis in octogenarians

Antonio Cherubini, Giovanni Zuliani, Fabrizio Costantini, Sante D. Pierdomenico, Stefano Volpato, Andrea Mezzetti, Patrizia Mecocci, Salvatore Pezzuto, Mario Bregnocchi, Renato Fellin, Umberto Senin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To identify the biological characteristics of older subjects with vascular successful aging (VASA), defined as the absence of instrumental signs and clinical symptoms of atherosclerosis in the extracoronary and coronary vessels. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study. SETTING: A university-affiliated outpatient clinic. PARTICIPANTS: Sixty older subjects (30 with VASA and 30 controls with moderate carotid atherosclerosis (AG group)) from a sample of 705 subjects age 75 and older consecutively screened. MEASUREMENTS: Clinical examination; ultrasonographic examination of carotid, vertebral, abdominal aortic, iliac, and femoral arteries; electrocardiogram; and laboratory evaluation (lipid profile, lipophilic antioxidants, and markers of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation). RESULTS: Compared with controls, there were more females in the VASA group (82% vs 50%, P <.01), and fewer previous smokers (20.5% vs 52.5%, P <.01). Vitamin E/total cholesterol levels both in plasma (4.81 vs 3.51 μmol/mmol, P <.001) and in isolated LDLs (2.71 vs 1.86 μg/mg LDL cholesterol (LDL-C), P <.01), were higher in the VASA group, as was the resistance of LDLs to in vitro oxidation (as indicated by a longer duration of the lag phase: 80.2 vs 65.6 minutes, P <.001). The level of fluorescent products of lipid peroxidation (FPLPs) in native LDLs was lower in the VASA group (13.5 vs 18.8 URF/mg LDL-C, P <.001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that only plasma vitamin E level (odds ratio (OR) = 6.04, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.48-24.63) and FPLPs in LDLs (OR = 0.53, 95% CI = 0.31-0.91) were independently associated with VASA. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that an appropriate level of vitamin E and a low level of LDL oxidation might be important for reaching advanced age without developing atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-654
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Low-density lipoprotein oxidation
  • Octogenarians
  • Successful aging
  • Vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'High vitamin E plasma levels and low low-density lipoprotein oxidation are associated with the absence of atherosclerosis in octogenarians'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this