Atherosclerosis: A thickening and loss of elasticity of the walls of ARTERIES that occurs with formation of ATHEROSCLEROTIC PLAQUES within the ARTERIAL INTIMA.Arteriosclerosis: Thickening and loss of elasticity of the walls of ARTERIES of all sizes. There are many forms classified by the types of lesions and arteries involved, such as ATHEROSCLEROSIS with fatty lesions in the ARTERIAL INTIMA of medium and large muscular arteries.Apolipoproteins E: A class of protein components which can be found in several lipoproteins including HIGH-DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS; VERY-LOW-DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS; and CHYLOMICRONS. Synthesized in most organs, Apo E is important in the global transport of lipids and cholesterol throughout the body. Apo E is also a ligand for LDL receptors (RECEPTORS, LDL) that mediates the binding, internalization, and catabolism of lipoprotein particles in cells. There are several allelic isoforms (such as E2, E3, and E4). Deficiency or defects in Apo E are causes of HYPERLIPOPROTEINEMIA TYPE III.Carotid Artery Diseases: Pathological conditions involving the CAROTID ARTERIES, including the common, internal, and external carotid arteries. ATHEROSCLEROSIS and TRAUMA are relatively frequent causes of carotid artery pathology.Diet, Atherogenic: A diet that contributes to the development and acceleration of ATHEROGENESIS.Aortic Diseases: Pathological processes involving any part of the AORTA.Aorta: The main trunk of the systemic arteries.Coronary Artery Disease: Pathological processes of CORONARY ARTERIES that may derive from a congenital abnormality, atherosclerotic, or non-atherosclerotic cause.Carotid Arteries: Either of the two principal arteries on both sides of the neck that supply blood to the head and neck; each divides into two branches, the internal carotid artery and the external carotid artery.Tunica Intima: The innermost layer of an artery or vein, made up of one layer of endothelial cells and supported by an internal elastic lamina.Tunica Media: The middle layer of blood vessel walls, composed principally of thin, cylindrical, smooth muscle cells and elastic tissue. It accounts for the bulk of the wall of most arteries. The smooth muscle cells are arranged in circular layers around the vessel, and the thickness of the coat varies with the size of the vessel.Cholesterol: The principal sterol of all higher animals, distributed in body tissues, especially the brain and spinal cord, and in animal fats and oils.Plaque, Atherosclerotic: Lesions formed within the walls of ARTERIES.Risk Factors: An aspect of personal behavior or lifestyle, environmental exposure, or inborn or inherited characteristic, which, on the basis of epidemiologic evidence, is known to be associated with a health-related condition considered important to prevent.Lipoproteins, LDL: A class of lipoproteins of small size (18-25 nm) and light (1.019-1.063 g/ml) particles with a core composed mainly of CHOLESTEROL ESTERS and smaller amounts of TRIGLYCERIDES. The surface monolayer consists mostly of PHOSPHOLIPIDS, a single copy of APOLIPOPROTEIN B-100, and free cholesterol molecules. The main LDL function is to transport cholesterol and cholesterol esters to extrahepatic tissues.Intracranial Arteriosclerosis: Vascular diseases characterized by thickening and hardening of the walls of ARTERIES inside the SKULL. There are three subtypes: (1) atherosclerosis with fatty deposits in the ARTERIAL INTIMA; (2) Monckeberg's sclerosis with calcium deposits in the media and (3) arteriolosclerosis involving the small caliber arteries. Clinical signs include HEADACHE; CONFUSION; transient blindness (AMAUROSIS FUGAX); speech impairment; and HEMIPARESIS.Receptors, LDL: Receptors on the plasma membrane of nonhepatic cells that specifically bind LDL. The receptors are localized in specialized regions called coated pits. Hypercholesteremia is caused by an allelic genetic defect of three types: 1, receptors do not bind to LDL; 2, there is reduced binding of LDL; and 3, there is normal binding but no internalization of LDL. In consequence, entry of cholesterol esters into the cell is impaired and the intracellular feedback by cholesterol on 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA reductase is lacking.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Lipids: A generic term for fats and lipoids, the alcohol-ether-soluble constituents of protoplasm, which are insoluble in water. They comprise the fats, fatty oils, essential oils, waxes, phospholipids, glycolipids, sulfolipids, aminolipids, chromolipids (lipochromes), and fatty acids. (Grant & Hackh's Chemical Dictionary, 5th ed)Carotid Intima-Media Thickness: A measurement of the thickness of the carotid artery walls. It is measured by B-mode ULTRASONOGRAPHY and is used as a surrogate marker for ATHEROSCLEROSIS.Hypercholesterolemia: A condition with abnormally high levels of CHOLESTEROL in the blood. It is defined as a cholesterol value exceeding the 95th percentile for the population.Cholesterol, Dietary: Cholesterol present in food, especially in animal products.Foam Cells: Lipid-laden macrophages originating from monocytes or from smooth muscle cells.Carotid Artery, Common: The two principal arteries supplying the structures of the head and neck. They ascend in the neck, one on each side, and at the level of the upper border of the thyroid cartilage, each divides into two branches, the external (CAROTID ARTERY, EXTERNAL) and internal (CAROTID ARTERY, INTERNAL) carotid arteries.Macrophages: The relatively long-lived phagocytic cell of mammalian tissues that are derived from blood MONOCYTES. Main types are PERITONEAL MACROPHAGES; ALVEOLAR MACROPHAGES; HISTIOCYTES; KUPFFER CELLS of the liver; and OSTEOCLASTS. They may further differentiate within chronic inflammatory lesions to EPITHELIOID CELLS or may fuse to form FOREIGN BODY GIANT CELLS or LANGHANS GIANT CELLS. (from The Dictionary of Cell Biology, Lackie and Dow, 3rd ed.)Endothelium, Vascular: Single pavement layer of cells which line the luminal surface of the entire vascular system and regulate the transport of macromolecules and blood components.Calcinosis: Pathologic deposition of calcium salts in tissues.Mice, Inbred C57BLInflammation: A pathological process characterized by injury or destruction of tissues caused by a variety of cytologic and chemical reactions. It is usually manifested by typical signs of pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function.Lipoproteins: Lipid-protein complexes involved in the transportation and metabolism of lipids in the body. They are spherical particles consisting of a hydrophobic core of TRIGLYCERIDES and CHOLESTEROL ESTERS surrounded by a layer of hydrophilic free CHOLESTEROL; PHOSPHOLIPIDS; and APOLIPOPROTEINS. Lipoproteins are classified by their varying buoyant density and sizes.Coronary Vessels: The veins and arteries of the HEART.Hyperlipidemias: Conditions with excess LIPIDS in the blood.Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.Disease Progression: The worsening of a disease over time. This concept is most often used for chronic and incurable diseases where the stage of the disease is an important determinant of therapy and prognosis.Aorta, Thoracic: The portion of the descending aorta proceeding from the arch of the aorta and extending to the DIAPHRAGM, eventually connecting to the ABDOMINAL AORTA.Biological Markers: Measurable and quantifiable biological parameters (e.g., specific enzyme concentration, specific hormone concentration, specific gene phenotype distribution in a population, presence of biological substances) which serve as indices for health- and physiology-related assessments, such as disease risk, psychiatric disorders, environmental exposure and its effects, disease diagnosis, metabolic processes, substance abuse, pregnancy, cell line development, epidemiologic studies, etc.Chlamydophila pneumoniae: A species of CHLAMYDOPHILA that causes acute respiratory infection, especially atypical pneumonia, in humans, horses, and koalas.Cholesterol, HDL: Cholesterol which is contained in or bound to high-density lipoproteins (HDL), including CHOLESTEROL ESTERS and free cholesterol.Czechoslovakia: Created as a republic in 1918 by Czechs and Slovaks from territories formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The country split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia 1 January 1993.Cholesterol, LDL: Cholesterol which is contained in or bound to low density lipoproteins (LDL), including CHOLESTEROL ESTERS and free cholesterol.Muscle, Smooth, Vascular: The nonstriated involuntary muscle tissue of blood vessels.TriglyceridesAorta, Abdominal: The aorta from the DIAPHRAGM to the bifurcation into the right and left common iliac arteries.Arteries: The vessels carrying blood away from the heart.C-Reactive Protein: A plasma protein that circulates in increased amounts during inflammation and after tissue damage.Rabbits: The species Oryctolagus cuniculus, in the family Leporidae, order LAGOMORPHA. Rabbits are born in burrows, furless, and with eyes and ears closed. In contrast with HARES, rabbits have 22 chromosome pairs.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Cardiovascular Diseases: Pathological conditions involving the CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM including the HEART; the BLOOD VESSELS; or the PERICARDIUM.Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1: Cytokine-induced cell adhesion molecule present on activated endothelial cells, tissue macrophages, dendritic cells, bone marrow fibroblasts, myoblasts, and myotubes. It is important for the recruitment of leukocytes to sites of inflammation. (From Pigott & Power, The Adhesion Molecule FactsBook, 1993, p154)Lipid Metabolism: Physiological processes in biosynthesis (anabolism) and degradation (catabolism) of LIPIDS.Coronary Disease: An imbalance between myocardial functional requirements and the capacity of the CORONARY VESSELS to supply sufficient blood flow. It is a form of MYOCARDIAL ISCHEMIA (insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle) caused by a decreased capacity of the coronary vessels.Prospective Studies: Observation of a population for a sufficient number of persons over a sufficient number of years to generate incidence or mortality rates subsequent to the selection of the study group.Probucol: A drug used to lower LDL and HDL cholesterol yet has little effect on serum-triglyceride or VLDL cholesterol. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p993).Monocytes: Large, phagocytic mononuclear leukocytes produced in the vertebrate BONE MARROW and released into the BLOOD; contain a large, oval or somewhat indented nucleus surrounded by voluminous cytoplasm and numerous organelles.Endothelial Cells: Highly specialized EPITHELIAL CELLS that line the HEART; BLOOD VESSELS; and lymph vessels, forming the ENDOTHELIUM. They are polygonal in shape and joined together by TIGHT JUNCTIONS. The tight junctions allow for variable permeability to specific macromolecules that are transported across the endothelial layer.Apolipoprotein A-I: The most abundant protein component of HIGH DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS or HDL. This protein serves as an acceptor for CHOLESTEROL released from cells thus promoting efflux of cholesterol to HDL then to the LIVER for excretion from the body (reverse cholesterol transport). It also acts as a cofactor for LECITHIN CHOLESTEROL ACYLTRANSFERASE that forms CHOLESTEROL ESTERS on the HDL particles. Mutations of this gene APOA1 cause HDL deficiency, such as in FAMILIAL ALPHA LIPOPROTEIN DEFICIENCY DISEASE and in some patients with TANGIER DISEASE.Carotid Stenosis: Narrowing or stricture of any part of the CAROTID ARTERIES, most often due to atherosclerotic plaque formation. Ulcerations may form in atherosclerotic plaques and induce THROMBUS formation. Platelet or cholesterol emboli may arise from stenotic carotid lesions and induce a TRANSIENT ISCHEMIC ATTACK; CEREBROVASCULAR ACCIDENT; or temporary blindness (AMAUROSIS FUGAX). (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp 822-3)Coronary Angiography: Radiography of the vascular system of the heart muscle after injection of a contrast medium.Myocytes, Smooth Muscle: Non-striated, elongated, spindle-shaped cells found lining the digestive tract, uterus, and blood vessels. They are derived from specialized myoblasts (MYOBLASTS, SMOOTH MUSCLE).Aryldialkylphosphatase: An enzyme which catalyzes the hydrolysis of an aryl-dialkyl phosphate to form dialkyl phosphate and an aryl alcohol. It can hydrolyze a broad spectrum of organophosphate substrates and a number of aromatic carboxylic acid esters. It may also mediate an enzymatic protection of LOW DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS against oxidative modification and the consequent series of events leading to ATHEROMA formation. The enzyme was previously regarded to be identical with Arylesterase (EC 188.8.131.52).Vasculitis: Inflammation of any one of the blood vessels, including the ARTERIES; VEINS; and rest of the vasculature system in the body.Lipoproteins, HDL: A class of lipoproteins of small size (4-13 nm) and dense (greater than 1.063 g/ml) particles. HDL lipoproteins, synthesized in the liver without a lipid core, accumulate cholesterol esters from peripheral tissues and transport them to the liver for re-utilization or elimination from the body (the reverse cholesterol transport). Their major protein component is APOLIPOPROTEIN A-I. HDL also shuttle APOLIPOPROTEINS C and APOLIPOPROTEINS E to and from triglyceride-rich lipoproteins during their catabolism. HDL plasma level has been inversely correlated with the risk of cardiovascular diseases.Chemokine CCL2: A chemokine that is a chemoattractant for MONOCYTES and may also cause cellular activation of specific functions related to host defense. It is produced by LEUKOCYTES of both monocyte and lymphocyte lineage and by FIBROBLASTS during tissue injury. It has specificity for CCR2 RECEPTORS.Anticholesteremic Agents: Substances used to lower plasma CHOLESTEROL levels.Oxidative Stress: A disturbance in the prooxidant-antioxidant balance in favor of the former, leading to potential damage. Indicators of oxidative stress include damaged DNA bases, protein oxidation products, and lipid peroxidation products (Sies, Oxidative Stress, 1991, pxv-xvi).Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Vascular Calcification: Deposition of calcium into the blood vessel structures. Excessive calcification of the vessels are associated with ATHEROSCLEROTIC PLAQUES formation particularly after MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION (see MONCKEBERG MEDIAL CALCIFIC SCLEROSIS) and chronic kidney diseases which in turn increase VASCULAR STIFFNESS.Inflammation Mediators: The endogenous compounds that mediate inflammation (AUTACOIDS) and related exogenous compounds including the synthetic prostaglandins (PROSTAGLANDINS, SYNTHETIC).Hypertension: Persistently high systemic arterial BLOOD PRESSURE. Based on multiple readings (BLOOD PRESSURE DETERMINATION), hypertension is currently defined as when SYSTOLIC PRESSURE is consistently greater than 140 mm Hg or when DIASTOLIC PRESSURE is consistently 90 mm Hg or more.Diabetic Angiopathies: VASCULAR DISEASES that are associated with DIABETES MELLITUS.Cohort Studies: Studies in which subsets of a defined population are identified. These groups may or may not be exposed to factors hypothesized to influence the probability of the occurrence of a particular disease or other outcome. Cohorts are defined populations which, as a whole, are followed in an attempt to determine distinguishing subgroup characteristics.Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors: Compounds that inhibit HMG-CoA reductases. They have been shown to directly lower cholesterol synthesis.Arteritis: INFLAMMATION of any ARTERIES.Lipoprotein(a): A lipoprotein that resembles the LOW-DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS but with an extra protein moiety, APOPROTEIN (A) also known as APOLIPOPROTEIN (A), linked to APOLIPOPROTEIN B-100 on the LDL by one or two disulfide bonds. High plasma level of lipoprotein (a) is associated with increased risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.Dietary Fats: Fats present in food, especially in animal products such as meat, meat products, butter, ghee. They are present in lower amounts in nuts, seeds, and avocados.Femoral Artery: The main artery of the thigh, a continuation of the external iliac artery.Risk Assessment: The qualitative or quantitative estimation of the likelihood of adverse effects that may result from exposure to specified health hazards or from the absence of beneficial influences. (Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 1988)USSRApolipoproteins B: Major structural proteins of triacylglycerol-rich LIPOPROTEINS. There are two forms, apolipoprotein B-100 and apolipoprotein B-48, both derived from a single gene. ApoB-100 expressed in the liver is found in low-density lipoproteins (LIPOPROTEINS, LDL; LIPOPROTEINS, VLDL). ApoB-48 expressed in the intestine is found in CHYLOMICRONS. They are important in the biosynthesis, transport, and metabolism of triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins. Plasma Apo-B levels are high in atherosclerotic patients but non-detectable in ABETALIPOPROTEINEMIA.Cholesterol, VLDL: Cholesterol which is contained in or bound to very low density lipoproteins (VLDL). High circulating levels of VLDL cholesterol are found in HYPERLIPOPROTEINEMIA TYPE IIB. The cholesterol on the VLDL is eventually delivered by LOW-DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS to the tissues after the catabolism of VLDL to INTERMEDIATE-DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS, then to LDL.European Continental Ancestry Group: Individuals whose ancestral origins are in the continent of Europe.Chlamydophila Infections: Infections with bacteria of the genus CHLAMYDOPHILA.Hyperlipoproteinemia Type II: A group of familial disorders characterized by elevated circulating cholesterol contained in either LOW-DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS alone or also in VERY-LOW-DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS (pre-beta lipoproteins).Brachiocephalic Trunk: The first and largest artery branching from the aortic arch. It distributes blood to the right side of the head and neck and to the right arm.Predictive Value of Tests: In screening and diagnostic tests, the probability that a person with a positive test is a true positive (i.e., has the disease), is referred to as the predictive value of a positive test; whereas, the predictive value of a negative test is the probability that the person with a negative test does not have the disease. Predictive value is related to the sensitivity and specificity of the test.Brachial Artery: The continuation of the axillary artery; it branches into the radial and ulnar arteries.Sinus of Valsalva: The dilatation of the aortic wall behind each of the cusps of the aortic valve.Blood Pressure: PRESSURE of the BLOOD on the ARTERIES and other BLOOD VESSELS.Antioxidants: Naturally occurring or synthetic substances that inhibit or retard the oxidation of a substance to which it is added. They counteract the harmful and damaging effects of oxidation in animal tissues.Vasa Vasorum: Nutrient blood vessels which supply the walls of large arteries or veins.ATP Binding Cassette Transporter 1: A superfamily of large integral ATP-binding cassette membrane proteins whose expression pattern is consistent with a role in lipid (cholesterol) efflux. It is implicated in TANGIER DISEASE characterized by accumulation of cholesteryl ester in various tissues.Antigens, CD36: Leukocyte differentiation antigens and major platelet membrane glycoproteins present on MONOCYTES; ENDOTHELIAL CELLS; PLATELETS; and mammary EPITHELIAL CELLS. They play major roles in CELL ADHESION; SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION; and regulation of angiogenesis. CD36 is a receptor for THROMBOSPONDINS and can act as a scavenger receptor that recognizes and transports oxidized LIPOPROTEINS and FATTY ACIDS.Severity of Illness Index: Levels within a diagnostic group which are established by various measurement criteria applied to the seriousness of a patient's disorder.Cross-Sectional Studies: Studies in which the presence or absence of disease or other health-related variables are determined in each member of the study population or in a representative sample at one particular time. This contrasts with LONGITUDINAL STUDIES which are followed over a period of time.Linear Models: Statistical models in which the value of a parameter for a given value of a factor is assumed to be equal to a + bx, where a and b are constants. The models predict a linear regression.Vascular Diseases: Pathological processes involving any of the BLOOD VESSELS in the cardiac or peripheral circulation. They include diseases of ARTERIES; VEINS; and rest of the vasculature system in the body.Prevalence: The total number of cases of a given disease in a specified population at a designated time. It is differentiated from INCIDENCE, which refers to the number of new cases in the population at a given time.Case-Control Studies: Studies which start with the identification of persons with a disease of interest and a control (comparison, referent) group without the disease. The relationship of an attribute to the disease is examined by comparing diseased and non-diseased persons with regard to the frequency or levels of the attribute in each group.Homocysteine: A thiol-containing amino acid formed by a demethylation of METHIONINE.Macaca fascicularis: A species of the genus MACACA which typically lives near the coast in tidal creeks and mangrove swamps primarily on the islands of the Malay peninsula.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Vasodilation: The physiological widening of BLOOD VESSELS by relaxing the underlying VASCULAR SMOOTH MUSCLE.Oxidation-Reduction: A chemical reaction in which an electron is transferred from one molecule to another. The electron-donating molecule is the reducing agent or reductant; the electron-accepting molecule is the oxidizing agent or oxidant. Reducing and oxidizing agents function as conjugate reductant-oxidant pairs or redox pairs (Lehninger, Principles of Biochemistry, 1982, p471).Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Cholesterol Esters: Fatty acid esters of cholesterol which constitute about two-thirds of the cholesterol in the plasma. The accumulation of cholesterol esters in the arterial intima is a characteristic feature of atherosclerosis.Apolipoprotein E3: A 34-kDa glycosylated protein. A major and most common isoform of apolipoprotein E. Therefore, it is also known as apolipoprotein E (ApoE). In human, Apo E3 is a 299-amino acid protein with a cysteine at the 112 and an arginine at the 158 position. It is involved with the transport of TRIGLYCERIDES; PHOSPHOLIPIDS; CHOLESTEROL; and CHOLESTERYL ESTERS in and out of the cells.Insulin Resistance: Diminished effectiveness of INSULIN in lowering blood sugar levels: requiring the use of 200 units or more of insulin per day to prevent HYPERGLYCEMIA or KETOSIS.Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2: A subclass of DIABETES MELLITUS that is not INSULIN-responsive or dependent (NIDDM). It is characterized initially by INSULIN RESISTANCE and HYPERINSULINEMIA; and eventually by GLUCOSE INTOLERANCE; HYPERGLYCEMIA; and overt diabetes. Type II diabetes mellitus is no longer considered a disease exclusively found in adults. Patients seldom develop KETOSIS but often exhibit OBESITY.Macrophages, Peritoneal: Mononuclear phagocytes derived from bone marrow precursors but resident in the peritoneum.Ultrasonography, Interventional: The use of ultrasound to guide minimally invasive surgical procedures such as needle ASPIRATION BIOPSY; DRAINAGE; etc. Its widest application is intravascular ultrasound imaging but it is useful also in urology and intra-abdominal conditions.Hypolipidemic Agents: Substances that lower the levels of certain LIPIDS in the BLOOD. They are used to treat HYPERLIPIDEMIAS.Follow-Up Studies: Studies in which individuals or populations are followed to assess the outcome of exposures, procedures, or effects of a characteristic, e.g., occurrence of disease.Autopsy: Postmortem examination of the body.Apolipoprotein B-100: A 513-kDa protein synthesized in the LIVER. It serves as the major structural protein of low-density lipoproteins (LIPOPROTEINS, LDL; LIPOPROTEINS, VLDL). It is the ligand for the LDL receptor (RECEPTORS, LDL) that promotes cellular binding and internalization of LDL particles.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Age Factors: Age as a constituent element or influence contributing to the production of a result. It may be applicable to the cause or the effect of a circumstance. It is used with human or animal concepts but should be differentiated from AGING, a physiological process, and TIME FACTORS which refers only to the passage of time.Tomography, X-Ray Computed: Tomography using x-ray transmission and a computer algorithm to reconstruct the image.Metabolic Syndrome X: A cluster of metabolic risk factors for CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES and TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS. The major components of metabolic syndrome X include excess ABDOMINAL FAT; atherogenic DYSLIPIDEMIA; HYPERTENSION; HYPERGLYCEMIA; INSULIN RESISTANCE; a proinflammatory state; and a prothrombotic (THROMBOSIS) state. (from AHA/NHLBI/ADA Conference Proceedings, Circulation 2004; 109:551-556)Regression Analysis: Procedures for finding the mathematical function which best describes the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables. In linear regression (see LINEAR MODELS) the relationship is constrained to be a straight line and LEAST-SQUARES ANALYSIS is used to determine the best fit. In logistic regression (see LOGISTIC MODELS) the dependent variable is qualitative rather than continuously variable and LIKELIHOOD FUNCTIONS are used to find the best relationship. In multiple regression, the dependent variable is considered to depend on more than a single independent variable.Receptors, Scavenger: A large group of structurally diverse cell surface receptors that mediate endocytic uptake of modified LIPOPROTEINS. Scavenger receptors are expressed by MYELOID CELLS and some ENDOTHELIAL CELLS, and were originally characterized based on their ability to bind acetylated LOW-DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS. They can also bind a variety of other polyanionic ligand. Certain scavenger receptors can internalize micro-organisms as well as apoptotic cells.Multivariate Analysis: A set of techniques used when variation in several variables has to be studied simultaneously. In statistics, multivariate analysis is interpreted as any analytic method that allows simultaneous study of two or more dependent variables.Blood Vessels: Any of the tubular vessels conveying the blood (arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins).Scavenger Receptors, Class A: A family of scavenger receptors that mediate the influx of LIPIDS into MACROPHAGES and are involved in FOAM CELL formation.Ethnic Groups: A group of people with a common cultural heritage that sets them apart from others in a variety of social relationships.Peripheral Vascular Diseases: Pathological processes involving any one of the BLOOD VESSELS in the vasculature outside the HEART.Genotype: The genetic constitution of the individual, comprising the ALLELES present at each GENETIC LOCUS.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Sex Factors: Maleness or femaleness as a constituent element or influence contributing to the production of a result. It may be applicable to the cause or effect of a circumstance. It is used with human or animal concepts but should be differentiated from SEX CHARACTERISTICS, anatomical or physiological manifestations of sex, and from SEX DISTRIBUTION, the number of males and females in given circumstances.Lipid Peroxidation: Peroxidase catalyzed oxidation of lipids using hydrogen peroxide as an electron acceptor.Dyslipidemias: Abnormalities in the serum levels of LIPIDS, including overproduction or deficiency. Abnormal serum lipid profiles may include high total CHOLESTEROL, high TRIGLYCERIDES, low HIGH DENSITY LIPOPROTEIN CHOLESTEROL, and elevated LOW DENSITY LIPOPROTEIN CHOLESTEROL.Genetic Predisposition to Disease: A latent susceptibility to disease at the genetic level, which may be activated under certain conditions.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Smoking: Inhaling and exhaling the smoke of burning TOBACCO.Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1: A cell-surface ligand involved in leukocyte adhesion and inflammation. Its production is induced by gamma-interferon and it is required for neutrophil migration into inflamed tissue.Apolipoproteins: Protein components on the surface of LIPOPROTEINS. They form a layer surrounding the hydrophobic lipid core. There are several classes of apolipoproteins with each playing a different role in lipid transport and LIPID METABOLISM. These proteins are synthesized mainly in the LIVER and the INTESTINES.United StatesAsymptomatic Diseases: Diseases that do not exhibit symptoms.Diabetes Complications: Conditions or pathological processes associated with the disease of diabetes mellitus. Due to the impaired control of BLOOD GLUCOSE level in diabetic patients, pathological processes develop in numerous tissues and organs including the EYE, the KIDNEY, the BLOOD VESSELS, and the NERVE TISSUE.Phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual. It is the product of interactions between genes, and between the GENOTYPE and the environment.Ankle Brachial Index: Comparison of the BLOOD PRESSURE between the BRACHIAL ARTERY and the POSTERIOR TIBIAL ARTERY. It is a predictor of PERIPHERAL ARTERIAL DISEASE.Diet: Regular course of eating and drinking adopted by a person or animal.Scavenger Receptors, Class E: A class of oxidized LDL receptors that contain LECTIN-like extracellular domains.Odds Ratio: The ratio of two odds. The exposure-odds ratio for case control data is the ratio of the odds in favor of exposure among cases to the odds in favor of exposure among noncases. The disease-odds ratio for a cohort or cross section is the ratio of the odds in favor of disease among the exposed to the odds in favor of disease among the unexposed. The prevalence-odds ratio refers to an odds ratio derived cross-sectionally from studies of prevalent cases.Mice, Mutant Strains: Mice bearing mutant genes which are phenotypically expressed in the animals.Stroke: A group of pathological conditions characterized by sudden, non-convulsive loss of neurological function due to BRAIN ISCHEMIA or INTRACRANIAL HEMORRHAGES. Stroke is classified by the type of tissue NECROSIS, such as the anatomic location, vasculature involved, etiology, age of the affected individual, and hemorrhagic vs. non-hemorrhagic nature. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp777-810)Diet, High-Fat: Consumption of excessive DIETARY FATS.Vitamin E: A generic descriptor for all TOCOPHEROLS and TOCOTRIENOLS that exhibit ALPHA-TOCOPHEROL activity. By virtue of the phenolic hydrogen on the 2H-1-benzopyran-6-ol nucleus, these compounds exhibit varying degree of antioxidant activity, depending on the site and number of methyl groups and the type of ISOPRENOIDS.Polymorphism, Genetic: The regular and simultaneous occurrence in a single interbreeding population of two or more discontinuous genotypes. The concept includes differences in genotypes ranging in size from a single nucleotide site (POLYMORPHISM, SINGLE NUCLEOTIDE) to large nucleotide sequences visible at a chromosomal level.Fibrinogen: Plasma glycoprotein clotted by thrombin, composed of a dimer of three non-identical pairs of polypeptide chains (alpha, beta, gamma) held together by disulfide bonds. Fibrinogen clotting is a sol-gel change involving complex molecular arrangements: whereas fibrinogen is cleaved by thrombin to form polypeptides A and B, the proteolytic action of other enzymes yields different fibrinogen degradation products.Diabetes Mellitus: A heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by HYPERGLYCEMIA and GLUCOSE INTOLERANCE.1-Alkyl-2-acetylglycerophosphocholine Esterase: A lipoprotein-associated PHOSPHOLIPASE A2 which modulates the action of PLATELET ACTIVATING FACTOR by hydrolyzing the SN-2 ester bond to yield the biologically inactive lyso-platelet-activating factor. It has specificity for phospholipid substrates with short-chain residues at the SN-2 position, but inactive against long-chain phospholipids. Deficiency in this enzyme is associated with many diseases including ASTHMA, and HYPERCHOLESTEROLEMIA.Incidence: The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from PREVALENCE, which refers to all cases, new or old, in the population at a given time.Liver: A large lobed glandular organ in the abdomen of vertebrates that is responsible for detoxification, metabolism, synthesis and storage of various substances.ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters: A family of MEMBRANE TRANSPORT PROTEINS that require ATP hydrolysis for the transport of substrates across membranes. The protein family derives its name from the ATP-binding domain found on the protein.Blood Glucose: Glucose in blood.African Continental Ancestry Group: Individuals whose ancestral origins are in the continent of Africa.Orphan Nuclear Receptors: A broad category of receptor-like proteins that may play a role in transcriptional-regulation in the CELL NUCLEUS. Many of these proteins are similar in structure to known NUCLEAR RECEPTORS but appear to lack a functional ligand-binding domain, while in other cases the specific ligands have yet to be identified.Cytokines: Non-antibody proteins secreted by inflammatory leukocytes and some non-leukocytic cells, that act as intercellular mediators. They differ from classical hormones in that they are produced by a number of tissue or cell types rather than by specialized glands. They generally act locally in a paracrine or autocrine rather than endocrine manner.Iliac Artery: Either of two large arteries originating from the abdominal aorta; they supply blood to the pelvis, abdominal wall and legs.Interleukin-6: A cytokine that stimulates the growth and differentiation of B-LYMPHOCYTES and is also a growth factor for HYBRIDOMAS and plasmacytomas. It is produced by many different cells including T-LYMPHOCYTES; MONOCYTES; and FIBROBLASTS.Xanthomatosis: A condition marked by the development of widespread xanthomas, yellow tumor-like structures filled with lipid deposits. Xanthomas can be found in a variety of tissues including the SKIN; TENDONS; joints of KNEES and ELBOWS. Xanthomatosis is associated with disturbance of LIPID METABOLISM and formation of FOAM CELLS.Leukocytes: White blood cells. These include granular leukocytes (BASOPHILS; EOSINOPHILS; and NEUTROPHILS) as well as non-granular leukocytes (LYMPHOCYTES and MONOCYTES).Heptanoic Acids: 7-carbon saturated monocarboxylic acids.Hispanic Americans: Persons living in the United States of Mexican (MEXICAN AMERICANS), Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin. The concept does not include Brazilian Americans or Portuguese Americans.Myocardial Infarction: NECROSIS of the MYOCARDIUM caused by an obstruction of the blood supply to the heart (CORONARY CIRCULATION).Thrombosis: Formation and development of a thrombus or blood clot in the blood vessel.Scavenger Receptors, Class B: A family of scavenger receptors that are predominately localized to CAVEOLAE of the PLASMA MEMBRANE and bind HIGH DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS.Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III: A CALCIUM-dependent, constitutively-expressed form of nitric oxide synthase found primarily in ENDOTHELIAL CELLS.African Americans: Persons living in the United States having origins in any of the black groups of Africa.Nitric Oxide: A free radical gas produced endogenously by a variety of mammalian cells, synthesized from ARGININE by NITRIC OXIDE SYNTHASE. Nitric oxide is one of the ENDOTHELIUM-DEPENDENT RELAXING FACTORS released by the vascular endothelium and mediates VASODILATION. It also inhibits platelet aggregation, induces disaggregation of aggregated platelets, and inhibits platelet adhesion to the vascular endothelium. Nitric oxide activates cytosolic GUANYLATE CYCLASE and thus elevates intracellular levels of CYCLIC GMP.Logistic Models: Statistical models which describe the relationship between a qualitative dependent variable (that is, one which can take only certain discrete values, such as the presence or absence of a disease) and an independent variable. A common application is in epidemiology for estimating an individual's risk (probability of a disease) as a function of a given risk factor.Hyperhomocysteinemia: Condition in which the plasma levels of homocysteine and related metabolites are elevated (>13.9 µmol/l). Hyperhomocysteinemia can be familial or acquired. Development of the acquired hyperhomocysteinemia is mostly associated with vitamins B and/or folate deficiency (e.g., PERNICIOUS ANEMIA, vitamin malabsorption). Familial hyperhomocysteinemia often results in a more severe elevation of total homocysteine and excretion into the urine, resulting in HOMOCYSTINURIA. Hyperhomocysteinemia is a risk factor for cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, osteoporotic fractures and complications during pregnancy.Lipoproteins, VLDL: A class of lipoproteins of very light (0.93-1.006 g/ml) large size (30-80 nm) particles with a core composed mainly of TRIGLYCERIDES and a surface monolayer of PHOSPHOLIPIDS and CHOLESTEROL into which are imbedded the apolipoproteins B, E, and C. VLDL facilitates the transport of endogenously made triglycerides to extrahepatic tissues. As triglycerides and Apo C are removed, VLDL is converted to INTERMEDIATE-DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS, then to LOW-DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS from which cholesterol is delivered to the extrahepatic tissues.MississippiObesity: A status with BODY WEIGHT that is grossly above the acceptable or desirable weight, usually due to accumulation of excess FATS in the body. The standards may vary with age, sex, genetic or cultural background. In the BODY MASS INDEX, a BMI greater than 30.0 kg/m2 is considered obese, and a BMI greater than 40.0 kg/m2 is considered morbidly obese (MORBID OBESITY).Adiponectin: A 30-kDa COMPLEMENT C1Q-related protein, the most abundant gene product secreted by FAT CELLS of the white ADIPOSE TISSUE. Adiponectin modulates several physiological processes, such as metabolism of GLUCOSE and FATTY ACIDS, and immune responses. Decreased plasma adiponectin levels are associated with INSULIN RESISTANCE; TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS; OBESITY; and ATHEROSCLEROSIS.Pravastatin: An antilipemic fungal metabolite isolated from cultures of Nocardia autotrophica. It acts as a competitive inhibitor of HMG CoA reductase (HYDROXYMETHYLGLUTARYL COA REDUCTASES).Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Up-Regulation: A positive regulatory effect on physiological processes at the molecular, cellular, or systemic level. At the molecular level, the major regulatory sites include membrane receptors, genes (GENE EXPRESSION REGULATION), mRNAs (RNA, MESSENGER), and proteins.Aging: The gradual irreversible changes in structure and function of an organism that occur as a result of the passage of time.Reactive Oxygen Species: Molecules or ions formed by the incomplete one-electron reduction of oxygen. These reactive oxygen intermediates include SINGLET OXYGEN; SUPEROXIDES; PEROXIDES; HYDROXYL RADICAL; and HYPOCHLOROUS ACID. They contribute to the microbicidal activity of PHAGOCYTES, regulation of signal transduction and gene expression, and the oxidative damage to NUCLEIC ACIDS; PROTEINS; and LIPIDS.Aortitis: Inflammation of the wall of the AORTA.Reference Values: The range or frequency distribution of a measurement in a population (of organisms, organs or things) that has not been selected for the presence of disease or abnormality.Ankle: The region of the lower limb between the FOOT and the LEG.Bone Marrow Transplantation: The transference of BONE MARROW from one human or animal to another for a variety of purposes including HEMATOPOIETIC STEM CELL TRANSPLANTATION or MESENCHYMAL STEM CELL TRANSPLANTATION.Asian Americans: Persons living in the United States having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent.Carotid Artery, Internal: Branch of the common carotid artery which supplies the anterior part of the brain, the eye and its appendages, the forehead and nose.Disease Susceptibility: A constitution or condition of the body which makes the tissues react in special ways to certain extrinsic stimuli and thus tends to make the individual more than usually susceptible to certain diseases.Cell Movement: The movement of cells from one location to another. Distinguish from CYTOKINESIS which is the process of dividing the CYTOPLASM of a cell.E-Selectin: Cell adhesion molecule and CD antigen that mediates neutrophil, monocyte, and memory T-cell adhesion to cytokine-activated endothelial cells. E-selectin recognizes sialylated carbohydrate groups related to the Lewis X or Lewis A family.Comorbidity: The presence of co-existing or additional diseases with reference to an initial diagnosis or with reference to the index condition that is the subject of study. Comorbidity may affect the ability of affected individuals to function and also their survival; it may be used as a prognostic indicator for length of hospital stay, cost factors, and outcome or survival.JapanChaperonin 60: A group I chaperonin protein that forms the barrel-like structure of the chaperonin complex. It is an oligomeric protein with a distinctive structure of fourteen subunits, arranged in two rings of seven subunits each. The protein was originally studied in BACTERIA where it is commonly referred to as GroEL protein.Magnetic Resonance Angiography: Non-invasive method of vascular imaging and determination of internal anatomy without injection of contrast media or radiation exposure. The technique is used especially in CEREBRAL ANGIOGRAPHY as well as for studies of other vascular structures.Body Mass Index: An indicator of body density as determined by the relationship of BODY WEIGHT to BODY HEIGHT. BMI=weight (kg)/height squared (m2). BMI correlates with body fat (ADIPOSE TISSUE). Their relationship varies with age and gender. For adults, BMI falls into these categories: below 18.5 (underweight); 18.5-24.9 (normal); 25.0-29.9 (overweight); 30.0 and above (obese). (National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)NF-kappa B: Ubiquitous, inducible, nuclear transcriptional activator that binds to enhancer elements in many different cell types and is activated by pathogenic stimuli. The NF-kappa B complex is a heterodimer composed of two DNA-binding subunits: NF-kappa B1 and relA.Apolipoproteins A: Structural proteins of the alpha-lipoproteins (HIGH DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS), including APOLIPOPROTEIN A-I and APOLIPOPROTEIN A-II. They can modulate the activity of LECITHIN CHOLESTEROL ACYLTRANSFERASE. These apolipoproteins are low in atherosclerotic patients. They are either absent or present in extremely low plasma concentration in TANGIER DISEASE.Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide: A single nucleotide variation in a genetic sequence that occurs at appreciable frequency in the population.FluorobenzenesRisk: The probability that an event will occur. It encompasses a variety of measures of the probability of a generally unfavorable outcome.Peripheral Arterial Disease: Lack of perfusion in the EXTREMITIES resulting from atherosclerosis. It is characterized by INTERMITTENT CLAUDICATION, and an ANKLE BRACHIAL INDEX of 0.9 or less.