Inflammatory markers and extent and progression of early atherosclerosis: Meta-analysis of individual-participant-data from 20 prospective studies of the PROG-IMT collaboration
2016 (English)In: European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, ISSN 2047-4873, E-ISSN 2047-4881, Vol. 23, no 2, 194-205 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
BackgroundLarge-scale epidemiological evidence on the role of inflammation in early atherosclerosis, assessed by carotid ultrasound, is lacking. We aimed to quantify cross-sectional and longitudinal associations of inflammatory markers with common-carotid-artery intima-media thickness (CCA-IMT) in the general population. MethodsInformation on high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, leucocyte count and CCA-IMT was available in 20 prospective cohort studies of the PROG-IMT collaboration involving 49,097 participants free of pre-existing cardiovascular disease. Estimates of associations were calculated within each study and then combined using random-effects meta-analyses. ResultsMean baseline CCA-IMT amounted to 0.74mm (SD=0.18) and mean CCA-IMT progression over a mean of 3.9 years to 0.011mm/year (SD=0.039). Cross-sectional analyses showed positive linear associations between inflammatory markers and baseline CCA-IMT. After adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, mean differences in baseline CCA-IMT per one-SD higher inflammatory marker were: 0.0082mm for high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (p<0.001); 0.0072mm for fibrinogen (p<0.001); and 0.0025mm for leucocyte count (p=0.033). Inflammatory load', defined as the number of elevated inflammatory markers (i.e. in upper two quintiles), showed a positive linear association with baseline CCA-IMT (p<0.001). Longitudinal associations of baseline inflammatory markers and changes therein with CCA-IMT progression were null or at most weak. Participants with the highest inflammatory load' had a greater CCA-IMT progression (p=0.015). ConclusionInflammation was independently associated with CCA-IMT cross-sectionally. The lack of clear associations with CCA-IMT progression may be explained by imprecision in its assessment within a limited time period. Our findings for inflammatory load' suggest important combined effects of the three inflammatory markers on early atherosclerosis.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 23, no 2, 194-205 p.
Inflammation, atherosclerosis, meta-analysis
Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-276833DOI: 10.1177/2047487314560664ISI: 000368066500011PubMedID: 25416041OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-276833DiVA: diva2:903483
FunderGerman Research Foundation (DFG), DFG Lo 1569/2-1