Xanthelasma palpebrarum (XP) is associated with increased risk of ischemic heart disease and myocardial infarction independent of other well-known cardiovascular risk factors. Cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) is a novel index of arterial stiffness and important marker of subclinical atherosclerosis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between XP and CAVI in asymptomatic subjects.
Consecutive 50 subjects with XP and age-gender matched 50 control subjects were enrolled. Patients with known atherosclerotic vascular disease were excluded. Arterial stiffness was assessed by CAVI and defined as abnormal if CAVI is ≥ 8.
Subjects with XP had higher mean CAVI than control subjects (8.05 ± 1.72 vs. 6.76 ± 1.18, p < 0.001). Frequency of abnormal CAVI was higher in subjects with XP (n = 27) compared to those without XP (n = 9, 54 vs. 18 %, p < 0.001). There was a significant correlation between XP and CAVI (r = 0.42, p < 0.001). Conditional logistic regression analysis showed that XP (odds ratio OR 8.80, 95 % confidence interval CI 2.63–29.49, p < 0.001) and age (OR 1.17, 95 % CI 1.08–1.26, p < 0.001) were independent predictors for abnormal CAVI.
The study suggests that XP is associated with increased arterial stiffness in asymptomatic subjects.