Inflammatory markers and cardiovascular disease (The Health, Aging and Body Composition [Health ABC] Study)

Matteo Cesari, Brenda W.J.H. Penninx, Anne B. Newman, Stephen B. Kritchevsky, Barbara J. Nicklas, Kim Sutton-Tyrrell, Russell P. Tracy, Susan M. Rubin, Tamara B. Harris, Marco Pahor

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261 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the association of several inflammatory markers with subclinical and clinical cardiovascular disease in older men and women. Data are from the baseline assessment of 3,045 well-functioning persons aged 70 to 79 years, participating in the Health, Aging and Body Composition study. The study sample was divided into 3 groups: "cardiovascular disease" (diagnosis of congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, or stroke), "subclinical cardiovascular disease" (positive findings on the Rose questionnaire for angina or claudication, ankle-brachial index <0.9, or electrocardiographic abnormalities), and "no cardiovascular disease." Serum levels of interleukin (IL)-6, C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and the soluble receptors IL-6 soluble receptor, IL-2 soluble receptor, TNF soluble receptor I, and TNF soluble receptor II were assessed. Of those with IL-6 levels in the highest compared with the lowest tertile, the odds ratio (OR) for subclinical cardiovascular disease was 1.58 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26 to 1.97) and for clinical cardiovascular disease was 2.35 (95% CI 1.79 to 3.09). A similar association was found for TNF-α (OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.88 and OR 2.05, 95% CI 1.55 to 2.72, respectively). In adjusted analyses, CRP was not significantly associated with overall subclinical or clinical cardiovascular disease, although additional analyses did find a strong specific association between CRP and congestive heart failure (OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.11 to 2.41). Of the soluble cytokine receptors, only TNF soluble receptor I showed a significant association with clinical cardiovascular disease. Thus, our findings suggest an important role for IL-6 and TNF-α in clinical as well as subclinical cardiovascular disease. In this study, CRP had a weaker association with cardiovascular disease than the cytokines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-528
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes

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