NIH Research Festival
Recent reports suggest that people suffering from loneliness have increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. A potential link between loneliness and CVD is an atherogenic shift in the lipoprotein profile. In this study, we investigated associations between loneliness and lipoproteins in African American (AA) women residing in resource-limited Washington, DC neighborhoods. Participants were enrolled in Step It Up, a technology-based, community-engaged PA intervention. Fasting blood samples were drawn at baseline to measure lipoproteins using NMR technology. The Lipoprotein Insulin Resistance Index (LP-IR), a diabetes risk marker, was calculated. Loneliness was measured using the UCLA Loneliness scale. Associations between loneliness, lipoprotein particles and LP-IR were analyzed using multivariable regression adjusted for BMI, ASCVD 10-year risk score, and lipid-lowering therapy. AA women with CVD risk (N=106, Age 55.9¬±13, BMI 36.3¬±6.7) were enrolled into Step It Up. Higher loneliness at baseline was associated with higher Apo-B (beta=0.26,p=0.02), LDL concentration (beta=0.23,p=0.02), and LDL particle number (beta=0.25,p=0.01), but not with LDL particle size. Higher loneliness associated with triglyceride-rich lipoprotein (TRL) size (beta=0.23,p=0.02). This relationship appeared to be due to large and very large TRL particles (p<0.05). No significant associations were found with HDL-related measures. Lastly, loneliness significantly associated with LP-IR, a diabetes risk marker (beta=0.22,p=0.03). Thus, our data show that higher loneliness in AA women from under-resourced neighborhoods is associated with increased hyperlipidemia and diabetes risk. Our findings highlight a potential mechanism by which loneliness may accelerate CVD risk and support the urgent need for multilevel interventions to reduce loneliness and CVD risk in at-risk populations.
Scientific Focus Area: Health Disparities
This page was last updated on Monday, September 25, 2023