Plasma lipid profiling in a large population-based cohort

Jacquelyn M Weir, Gerard Wong, Christopher K. Barlow, Melissa A Greeve, Adam Kowalczyk, Laura Almasy, Anthony G Comuzzie, Michael C Mahaney, Jeremy B M Jowett, Jonathan Shaw, Joanne E Curran, John Blangero, Peter J. Meikle

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187 Citations (Scopus)


We have performed plasma lipid profiling using liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry on a population cohort of more than 1,000 individuals. From 10 μl of plasma we were able to acquire comparative measures of 312 lipids across 23 lipid classes and subclasses including sphingolipids, phospholipids, glycerolipids, and cholesterol esters (CEs) in 20 min. Using linear and logistic regression, we identified statistically significant associations of lipid classes, subclasses, and individual lipid species with anthropometric and physiological measures. In addition to the expected associations of CEs and triacylglycerol with age, sex, and body mass index (BMI), ceramide was significantly higher in males and was independently associated with age and BMI. Associations were also observed for sphingomyelin with age but this lipid subclass was lower in males. Lysophospholipids were associated with age and higher in males, but showed a strong negative association with BMI. Many of these lipids have previously been associated with chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease and may mediate the interactions of age, sex, and obesity with disease risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2898-2908
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Disease risk
  • Lipidomics
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Obesity

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