Plasma-free fatty acids (FFAs) are largely derived from adipose tissue. Elevated levels of FFA and fatty acidebinding protein 4 (FABP4), a key cytoplasmic chaperone of fatty acids, have been associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes, but limited data are available on the relation of these biomarkers with cardiovascular and total mortality. We studied 4,707 participants with a mean age of 75 years who had plasma FFA and FABP4 measured in 1992 to 1993 as part of the Cardiovascular Health Study, an observational cohort of community-dwelling older adults. Over a median follow-up of 11.8 years, 3,555 participants died. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to determine the association between FFA, FABP4, and mortality. In fully adjusted models, FFA were associated with dosedependent significantly higher total mortality (hazard ratio [HR] per SD: 1.14, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09 to 1.18), but FABP4 levels were not (HR 1.04, 95% CI 0.98 to 1.09). In a cause-specific mortality analysis, higher concentrations of FFA were associated with significantly higher risk of death because of cardiovascular disease, dementia, infection, and respiratory causes but not cancer or trauma. We did not find evidence of an interaction between FFA and FABP4 (p[0.45), but FABP4 appeared to be associated with total mortality differentially in men and women (HR 1.17, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.26 for men; HR 1.02, 95% CI 0.96 to 1.07 for women, interaction p value <0.001). In conclusion, in a cohort of community-dwelling older subjects, elevated plasma concentrations of FFA, but not FABP4, were associated with cardiovascular and noncardiovascular mortality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine