Abstract # 13321 Poster # 168:

Scheduled for Friday, August 23, 2019 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Alumni Lounge) Poster Presentation


LIPID MARKERS ARE NOT BETTER PREDICTORS OF DISEASE AND MORTALITY RISK IN ZOO-HOUSED WESTERN LOWLAND GORILLAS (GORILLA GORILLA GORILLA) THAN AGE AND SEX ALONE

A. N. Edes1,2, J. L. Brown1 and K. L. Edwards1
1Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, MRC 5534, 1500 Remount Road, Front Royal, VA 22630, USA, 2The Ohio State University
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     Gorillas in zoos primarily die of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Hyperlipidemia is a risk factor for CVD in humans but does not seem to have been examined in gorillas despite proatherogenic lipid profiles (possibly because severe atherosclerosis is rare). We measured six lipid markers (cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein [HDL], low-density lipoprotein [LDL], apolipoprotein A1 [APOA1], total cholesterol/HDL ratio) in zoo-housed gorillas (n=63). We examined associations with age and sex using linear regression or generalized linear models (GLMs; ?=0.05). Age negatively associated with HDL and APOA1, and positively associated with triglycerides and cholesterol/HDL ratio. Males had higher HDL, lower triglycerides, and lower cholesterol/HDL ratio. We constructed multiple GLMs with a binomial distribution and logit link (age + sex, age + sex + individual lipid marker, global), then used multimodel inference to analyze contributions of each to risk of chronic disease in general, CVD specifically, and mortality. For all three, the model with the highest weight contained only age and sex; models containing individual lipid markers were within the top model set and thus roughly equivalent. These results suggest that although individual lipid markers predict disease and mortality risk in gorillas, they are not more informative than age and sex alone. These results may reflect differences in the primary type of CVD diagnosed (gorillas: fibrosing cardiomyopathy; humans: coronary artery disease) as well as indicate potentially important species-level differences.