Abstract # 184:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 23, 2007 09:00 AM-09:15 AM: Session 17 (North Main Hall E) Oral Presentation


Identification of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Male Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): Implications for Captive Management

E. N. Videan1, R. Cutler2, C. B. Heward2, K. Chowdhury2, J. Plummer2 and J. Fritz1
1Primate Foundation of Arizona, PO Box 20027, Mesa, AZ 85277, USA, 2Kronos Science Laboratories
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     Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in captive chimpanzees. However, no studies have identified potential biomarkers for cardiovascular disease development in chimpanzees. This study directly compared cardiovascular disease risk between young adult male chimpanzees (n=10) and young adult men (n=10). Blood and urine samples were collected from each subject for biochemical assays, including cardiovascular risk factor and oxidative stress status profiles. Results were compared using ANOVA [a=0.05]. Overall the results indicated chimpanzees were at increased risk for premature cardiovascular disease as compared to humans. This was due to significantly higher levels of fibrinogen, lipoic acid, small low-density lipoproteins, and large high-density lipoproteins. Chimpanzees were also at increased risk of cardiomyopathy and heart failure, due to significantly higher levels of 5-hydroxymethyl-2-deoxyuridine, ceruloplasmin, and copper and significantly lower levels of albumin and bilirubin. However, more commonly used measures of cardiovascular health (i.e., cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL/LDL ratio) were not significantly different between the two species. The chimpanzees in this study, although physically healthy, showed a high risk for premature cardiovascular disease, particularly coronary heart disease and cardiomyopathy, as compared to similarly-aged humans. It is unknown whether this is the result of genetic differences, or if the cardiovascular disease risk in chimpanzees can be lowered through medical intervention. Additional research is needed to examine the relationship between these biomarkers and incidents of sudden cardiac death in chimpanzees.