Systemic inflammation is linked to cardiovascular risk, but the influence of persistent pathogens, which are conventionally dichotomously categorized, on circulating levels of inflammatory markers is not clear. Antibody levels of pathogens have not been examined in relation to inflammation.
Using data from a subsample of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, we examined circulating levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP) and fibrinogen in relation to five common persistent pathogens: cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus-1, Hepatitis A virus, Helicobacter pylori and Chlamydia pneumoniae. We tested the hypothesis that the number of seropositive pathogens (based on conventional cut-off points) would not be as sensitive a marker of inflammation as immune response measured by antibody levels to pathogens.
High antibody response to multiple pathogens showed graded and significant associations with IL-6 (p < 0.001), CRP (p = 0.04) and fibrinogen (p = 0.001), whereas seropositive pathogen burden did not. In multiple linear regression models, high antibody response to multiple pathogens maintained a positive association only with IL-6 (4.4% per pathogen exhibiting high antibody response, 95% CI 0.0-8.9).
High antibody response to pathogens was a more consistent marker of inflammatory outcomes compared to seropositivity alone and high antibody response to multiple pathogens was a stronger marker compared to any single pathogen.
We examined the cross-sectional relationships of subclinical atherosclerosis – expressed by carotid intimal–medial thickness and coronary calcification – with antibodies to Chlamydia pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus, hepatitis A virus, and pathogen burden (number of positive pathogens). A random sample of 1056 individuals chosen from 5030 Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis cohort participants were included. After multiple adjustment, no associations were found between atherosclerosis measures and either individual pathogens or pathogen burden. Interactions with inflammatory and endothelial function markers, demographic factors, BMI, high-density lipoprotein, diabetes, and smoking were also explored. The only interaction that was large, qualitative, statistically significant (P < 0.05) and in the expected direction was that between hepatitis A virus and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 with regard to Agatston calcium score: the difference between hepatitis A virus-positive and hepatitis A virus-negative participants was −86 units in participants with soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 below the median, and +162 units in those with soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 equal or above the median. However, given the number of interactions that were explored, these results must be interpreted cautiously.
Findings from the present analyses do not provide support for an infectious etiology for subclinical atherosclerosis. However, the study’s limitations, which include its cross-sectional design and insufficient statistical power, suggest that inferences from its findings should be made cautiously.
atherosclerosis; infections; pathogens
The biologic mechanisms linking socioeconomic position and psychosocial factors to cardiovascular disease (CVD) are not well understood. Immune response to persistent pathogens may be one of these mechanisms.
We analyzed cross-sectional data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (N=999) composed of adults age 45–84. Log-binomial regression and ordinal logistic regression models were used to examine associations of socioeconomic factors and psychosocial factors with pathogen burden and immune response among those infected. Pathogen burden was assessed based on seroprevalence of Helicobacter pylori, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus-1, and Chlamydia pneumoniae and antibody levels were used to characterize high immune response to all four pathogens.
Low education was a strong and significant independent predictor of higher pathogen burden after adjustment for covariates (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.37, 1.19–1.57). Among subjects seropositive for all four pathogens, low education and a higher level of chronic psychosocial stress showed a positive association with higher antibody response, although associations were no longer significant in models with all covariates included (OR = 1.64, 95%CI 0.82–3.31 for lowest vs. highest educational category and OR= 1.29, 95%CI 0.96–1.73 for a one level increase in chronic stress).
Pathogen burden and heightened immune response may represent a biological pathway by which low socioeconomic position and chronic stress are related to increased rates of cardiovascular disease.
Infection; inflammation; epidemiology; cardiovascular diseases
Coronary artery disease (CAD) occurs at an earlier age in South Asians compared with other ethnic groups. Infection and inflammation show a positive association with the disease.
To investigate the association of infection and inflammatory markers with premature CAD in the Indian Atherosclerosis Research Study population.
Antibody titres for Chlamydia pneumoniae, cytomegalovirus (CMV), Helicobacter pylori, herpes simplex virus and levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), fibrinogen and secretory phospholipase A2, were measured in 866 individuals (433 CAD patients and matched controls). All individuals were followed-up for recurrent cardiac events for four years. ANOVA was used to study the association of infection and inflammation with CAD.
The present study found that the odds of CAD occurrence was 2.42 (95% CI 1.26 to 4.64; P<0.008), with all four infections and increased in the presence of hsCRP (OR 4.67 [95% CI 1.43 to 15.25]); P=0.011). Only anti-CMV antibody levels were a significant risk factor for CAD occurrence (OR 2.23 [95% CI 1.20 to 4.15]; P=0.011) and recurrent cardiac events (OR 1.94 [95% CI 0.85 to 4.45]; P=0.015). Mean values of the inflammatory biomarkers IL-6 (P=0.035), fibrinogen (P=0.014), hsCRP (P=0.010) and secretory phospholipase A2 (P=0.002) increased with CMV antibody levels. Incorporating hsCRP and IL-6 in the risk prediction models significantly increased the OR to 2.56 (95% CI 1.16 to 5.63; P=0.019) with a c statistic of 0.826.
Pathogen burden, especially CMV infection in combination with inflammatory markers, is a significant predictor of CAD risk in the young Indian population.
Coronary artery disease; C-reactive protein; Cytomegalovirus; Inflammatory markers; Pathogen burden
The pathophysiological mechanisms that underlie health disparities by socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity are poorly understood. Promising new research suggests that the burden of persistent infection may influence adult disease risk and mortality. This article examines how multiple persistent infections cluster within individuals and how this clustering varies by socioeconomic position and race/ethnicity in U.S. adults.
We analyze data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III (N = 19,275) for adults aged 17–90 years. The clustering of infections within individuals is studied using tetrachoric correlations. Multiple indicator multiple cause models are used to analyze the infection burden construct as measured by seropositivity to Helicobacter pylori, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus-1, and hepatitis B, focusing on the burden's distribution by socioeconomic position and race/ethnicity. The results are corroborated using ordered logistic regression for a commonly used count index of individual infections.
Seroprevalence of individual persistent infections is positively correlated, suggesting common factors related to exposure or susceptibility. Education, income, and race/ethnicity are strong and significant independent predictors of infection burden in U.S. adults in all models.
The disproportionate burden of persistent infections among disadvantaged groups across all ages may be one biologic pathway by which low socioeconomic position is related to increased rates of morbidity and mortality in the United States.
Socioeconomic; Race; Ethnic; United states; Adults; Infection; Biomarkers
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection continues to be a major health problem for society. Intravenous drug users are the second largest risk group for HIV infection. The disease primarily affects immunologic functioning. This study examined the inherent immunologic dysfunction by measuring the seroprevalence of infection against pathogens often associated with HIV infection. Additionally, chi square analysis was used to compare intravenous drug users with a non-drug-using control group to see if any difference existed in the prevalence of antinuclear antibody, rheumatoid factor, abnormal titer of antibody to Toxoplasma gondii, cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex virus (types 1 and 2). The intravenous drug users had a significantly greater level of antibody titers for antinuclear antibody and Toxoplasma gondii than did controls. Abnormal serologic results were not significantly associated with HIV seropositivity. The findings of this study suggest that intravenous drug users experience a greater prevalence of alteration in serologic markers unrelated to HIV exposure.
OBJECTIVE—The prevalence of type 2 diabetes among Hispanic and Asian Americans is increasing. These groups are largely comprised of immigrants who may be undergoing behavioral and lifestyle changes associated with development of diabetes. We studied the association between acculturation and diabetes in a population sample of 708 Mexican-origin Hispanics, 547 non–Mexican-origin Hispanics, and 737 Chinese participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Diabetes was defined as fasting glucose ≥126 mg/dl and/or use of antidiabetic medications. An acculturation score was calculated for all participants using nativity, years living in the U.S., and language spoken at home. The score ranged from 0 to 5 (0 = least acculturated and 5 = most acculturated). Relative risk regression was used to estimate the association between acculturation and diabetes.
RESULTS—For non–Mexican-origin Hispanics, the prevalence of diabetes was positively associated with acculturation score, after adjustment for sociodemographics. The prevalence of diabetes was significantly higher among the most acculturated versus the least acculturated non–Mexican-origin Hispanics (prevalence ratio 2.49 [95% CI 1.14−5.44]); the higher the acculturation score is, the higher the prevalence of diabetes (P for trend 0.059). This relationship between acculturation and diabetes was partly attenuated after adjustment for BMI or diet. Diabetes prevalence was not related to acculturation among Chinese or Mexican-origin Hispanics.
CONCLUSIONS—Among non–Mexican-origin Hispanics in MESA, greater acculturation is associated with higher diabetes prevalence. The relation is at least partly mediated by BMI and diet. Acculturation is a factor that should be considered when predictors of diabetes in racial/ethnic groups are examined.
Antibodies against infectious pathogens provide information on past or present exposure to infectious agents. While host genetic factors are known to affect the immune response, the influence of genetic factors on antibody levels to common infectious agents is largely unknown. Here we test whether antibody levels for 13 common infections are significantly heritable.
IgG antibodies to Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori, Toxoplasma gondii, adenovirus 36 (Ad36), hepatitis A virus, influenza A and B, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, herpes simplex virus (HSV)-1 and −2, human herpesvirus-6, and varicella zoster virus were determined for 1,227 Mexican Americans. Both quantitative and dichotomous (seropositive/seronegative) traits were analyzed. Influences of genetic and shared environmental factors were estimated using variance components pedigree analysis, and sharing of underlying genetic factors among traits was investigated using bivariate analyses.
Serological phenotypes were significantly heritable for most pathogens (h2 = 0.17–0.39), except for Ad36 and HSV-2. Shared environment was significant for several pathogens (c2 = 0.10–0.32). The underlying genetic etiology appears to be largely different for most pathogens.
Our results demonstrate, for the first time for many of these pathogens, that individual genetic differences of the human host contribute substantially to antibody levels to many common infectious agents, providing impetus for the identification of underlying genetic variants, which may be of clinical importance.
Pathogen; Infection; Antibody; Serology; Genetics; Heritability; Mexican Americans
Background Numerous studies have documented a strong inverse association between cardiovascular disease and socioeconomic position (SEP). Several infections are associated with both cardiovascular disease and SEP; hence infection may form an important link between SEP and cardiovascular disease. This study examines whether seropositivity to cytomegalovirus (CMV), to herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1), and/or to both pathogens mediates the relationship between SEP and cardiovascular disease history in a nationally representative sample of the United States.
Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study of subjects ≥45 years of age, who were tested for seropositivity to CMV, HSV-1 or both pathogens and assessed for cardiovascular disease history in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III. Cardiovascular disease history was defined as history of stroke, heart attack and/or congestive heart failure and SEP as education level.
Results SEP was associated with CMV, HSV-1 and seropositivity to both pathogens. CMV seropositivity was associated with cardiovascular disease history even after adjusting for confounders as well as SEP. The odds of reporting a history of cardiovascular disease for those with less than a high school education compared with those with more than a high school education decreased by 7.7% after adjusting for CMV (Sobel mediation test for CMV, P = 0.0006). In contrast, neither seropositivity to HSV-1 nor to both pathogens was associated with cardiovascular disease history after adjusting for SEP.
Conclusions Persistent pathogens such as CMV infection may explain a portion of the relationship between SEP and cardiovascular disease in the United States. Further studies examining additional pathogens and sociobiological mechanisms are warranted.
SEP; CMV; HSV-1; co-infection; cardiovascular disease; mediation
Testing of patients who are deemed to be at high risk for TORCH pathogens, e.g., pregnant women, their fetuses, neonates, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients, is important so that specific treatment can be initiated. This study included 1,857 such patients between 2005 and 2008. Logistic regression was used to evaluate factors associated with Toxoplasma gondii seropositivity. Among 823 women of childbearing age, 35.1% and 5.2% tested positive for T. gondii IgG and IgM, respectively. Three infants ≤ 6 months of age (0.8% of 353) were congenitally infected. Factors associated with T. gondii IgG seropositivity included older age, East Mediterranean or African nationality, positive cytomegalovirus (CMV) and herpes simplex virus (HSV)-1 serostatus, and negative rubella IgG results. The decreasing prevalence of IgM antibodies between 2005 and 2008 suggested that exposure to T. gondii from food or environmental sources declined over this period in Qatar. Population-based studies of newborns would be helpful to accurately estimate incidence of congenital toxoplasmosis.
To test the hypothesis that A1C is associated with subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a population without evident diabetes, after adjusting for traditional CVD risk factors and BMI.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
This was a cross-sectional study of 5,121 participants without clinically evident CVD or diabetes (fasting glucose ≥7.0 mmol/l or use of diabetes medication), aged 47–86 years, enrolled in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Measurements included carotid intimal-medial wall thickness (CIMT) and coronary artery calcification (CAC). Results were adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, smoking, systolic blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, antihypertensive medication use, lipid-lowering medication use, and BMI.
Compared with those in the lowest quartile for A1C ([mean ± SD] 5.0 ± 0.2%), participants in the highest quartile (6.0 ± 0.3%) had higher adjusted mean values for common CIMT (0.85 vs. 0.87 mm, P = 0.003) and internal CIMT (1.01 vs. 1.08 mm, P = 0.003). A1C quartile was not associated with prevalence of CAC in the entire cohort (P = 0.27); however, the association was statistically significant in women (adjusted prevalence of CAC in lowest and highest A1C quartiles 37.5 vs. 43.0%, P = 0.01). Among those with some CAC, higher A1C quartile tended to be associated with higher CAC score, but the results were not statistically significant (adjusted P = 0.11).
In this multiethnic cohort, there were small, positive associations between A1C, common CIMT, and internal CIMT in the absence of clinically evident diabetes. An association between higher A1C and CAC prevalence was evident only in women.
Recent publications have suggested that infective pathogens might play an important role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. This review focuses on these microorganisms in the process of atherosclerosis. The results of in vitro studies, animal studies, tissue studies, and serological studies will be summarised, followed by an overall conclusion concerning the strength of the association of the microorganism with the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. The role of the bacteria Chlamydia pneumoniae and Helicobacter pylori, and the viruses human immunodeficiency virus, coxsackie B virus, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, herpes simplex virus, and measles virus will be discussed.
Key Words: atherosclerosis • Chlamydia pneumoniae • Helicobacter pylori
Individuals from South Asia have high diabetes prevalence despite low body weight. We compared the prevalence of diabetes among South Asian Indians with other U.S. ethnic groups and explored correlates of diabetes.
This was a cross-sectional study of 150 South Asian Indians (ages 45–79) in California, using similar methods to the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Type 2 diabetes was classified by fasting plasma glucose (FPG) ≥126 mg/dL, 2-h postchallenge glucose ≥200 mg/dL, or use of hypoglycemic medication.
A total of 29% of Asian Indians had diabetes, 37% had prediabetes, and 34% had normal glucose tolerance. After full adjustment for covariates, Indians still had significantly higher odds of diabetes compared to whites and Latinos, but not significantly different from African Americans and Chinese Americans in MESA: Indians [odds ratio (OR), 1.0], whites [OR, 0.29; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.17–0.49], Latinos (OR, 0.59; CI, 0.34–1.00) African Americans (OR, 0.77; CI 0.45–1.32), Chinese Americans (OR, 0.78, CI, 0.45–1.32). Variables associated with prediabetes or diabetes among Indians included hypertension, fatty liver, visceral adiposity, microalbuminuria, carotid intima media thickness, and stronger traditional Indian beliefs.
Indian immigrants may be more likely to have diabetes than other U.S. ethnic groups, and cultural factors may play a role, suggesting that this is a promising area of research.
Optimism and pessimism are associated with cardiovascular disease mortality and progression, however the biological mechanism remains unclear. This study investigates the association between optimism/pessimism and concentrations of seven inflammation and hemostasis markers.
This cross-sectional study used data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), a study of 6814 persons aged 45–84 with no history of clinical cardiovascular disease. The Life-Orientation Test—Revised (LOT-R) was used to measure dispositional optimism and pessimism. Regression analyses were used to estimate associations of optimism and pessimism with interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, homocysteine, factor VIII, D-dimer, and plasmin-antiplasmin, before and after adjustment for sociodemographics, depression, cynicism, health behaviors, BMI, hypertension, and diabetes.
Higher scores on the LOT-R (positive disposition) were related to lower concentrations of IL-6 (p=0.001), fibrinogen (p<0.001) and homocysteine (p=0.031). Associations were stronger for the pessimism subscale. After adjustment for demographics, the percentage differences in inflammatory markers corresponding to a 2-standard deviation increase in pessimism were 6.01% (p=0.001) for IL-6; 10.31% (p=0.001) for CRP; 2.47% (p<0.0001) for fibrinogen, and 1.36% (p=0.07) for homocysteine. Associations were attenuated but significant after adjustment for sociodemographics, depression, cynical distrust, and behaviors. Further adjustment for hypertension, BMI and diabetes reduced associations for CRP and IL-6. Pessimism remained associated with a 1.36% (p=0.02) increase in fibrinogen in the fully adjusted model. Factor VIII, D-dimer and plasmin-antiplasmin were not associated with the LOT-R or subscales.
Pessimism is related to higher levels of inflammation. Health behaviors, BMI, hypertension and diabetes appear to play a mediating role.
Psychosocial factors; inflammation; coagulation; epidemiology; risk factors
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is associated with an increased risk for human herpesviruses (HHVs) and their related diseases. Methods for limiting the transmission of HHVs require a better understanding of the prevalence and infectiousness of oral HHVs in HIV-infected patients. We performed quantitative PCR to investigate the prevalence, quantity, risk, and correlates of salivary HHVs from 58 HIV-seropositive individuals in a case control study. HHVs were significantly more prevalent in the salivas of HIV-seropositive persons than in those of the controls (odds ratios [ORs], 4.2 to 26.2; P ≤ 0.008). In HIV-infected patients, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), cytomegalovirus (CMV), and herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) were detected in 90%, 57%, 31% and 16% of samples, respectively, compared with 48%, 24%, 2%, and 2%, respectively, of samples from controls. Multiple HHVs were observed in 71% of HIV-seropositive persons and only 16% of controls (OR, 13.0; 95% confidence interval, 5.29 to 32.56). HIV-positive patients had significantly higher EBV loads than HIV-negative persons (P < 0.0001). HIV-infected patients with CD4 counts above 200 cells/μl had increased probability for having HHV-8 in saliva (P = 0.009) compared with patients whose counts were less than 200. In contrast, HSV-1, EBV, and CMV were detected more often when CD4 counts were low. High salivary HHV loads were detected for those (n = 7) with oral lesions. These findings suggest that saliva is a potential risk factor for the acquisition of multiple HHVs, and several host factors may function to accelerate HHV reactivation or replication in patients with HIV infection.
The presence of antibodies to rubella, cytomegalovirus and Toxoplasma gondii was determined at birth and at 6 months of age in a group of 147 infants with cord serum IgM levels ≥ 19.0 mg/dl and in 92 control infants. Maternal syphilis serology was determined in both groups as well. No significant differences in the prevalence or levels of antibodies to these pathogens were found between the two groups which might have led to the diagnosis of unsuspected intrauterine infection. Persistence of antibodies to 6 months of age was similar in the two groups, indicating that this is not a useful index of intrauterine infection.
Analysis of the results yielded the following data on the prevalence of antibodies to the pathogens studied: rubella virus, 90 and 75% seropositivity at birth and 6 months respectively; cytomegalovirus, 65 and 35%; and Toxoplasma gondii, 33% seropositivity at birth.
Several models for estimating risk of incident diabetes in US adults are available. The authors aimed to determine the discriminative ability and calibration of published diabetes risk prediction models in a contemporary multiethnic cohort. Participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis without diabetes at baseline (2000–2002; n = 5,329) were followed for a median of 4.75 years. The predicted risk of diabetes was calculated using published models from the Framingham Offspring Study, the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, and the San Antonio Heart Study. The mean age of participants was 61.6 years (standard deviation, 10.2); 29.3% were obese, 53.1% had hypertension, 34.9% had a family history of diabetes, 27.5% had high triglyceride levels, 33.8% had low high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and 15.3% had impaired fasting glucose. There were 446 incident cases of diabetes (fasting glucose level ≥126 mg/dL or initiation of antidiabetes medication use) diagnosed during follow-up. C statistics were 0.78, 0.84, and 0.83 for the Framingham, ARIC, and San Antonio risk prediction models, respectively. There were significant differences between observed and predicted diabetes risks (Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit chi-squared test for each model: P < 0.001). The recalibrated and best-fit models achieved sufficient goodness of fit (each P > 0.10). The Framingham, ARIC, and San Antonio models maintained high discriminative ability but required recalibration in a modern, multiethnic US cohort.
cohort studies; diabetes mellitus; models, statistical; risk; validation studies as topic
Many studies have documented associations between inflammation and type 2 diabetes incidence. We assessed potential variability in this association in the major U.S. racial/ethnic groups.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Incident type 2 diabetes was assessed among men and women aged 45–84 years without prior clinical cardiovascular disease or diabetes in the prospective Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Interleukin (IL)-6, fibrinogen, and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured at baseline (2000–2002); fasting glucose and diabetes medication use was assessed at baseline and three subsequent in-person exams through 2007. Type 2 diabetes was defined as use of diabetes drugs or glucose ≥126 mg/dl. Covariates included baseline demographics, clinic, smoking, alcohol, exercise, hypertension medication, systolic blood pressure, insulin resistance, and BMI. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) by quartiles of CRP, IL-6, and fibrinogen.
Among 5,571 participants (mean age 61.6 years, 53% female, 42.1% white, 11.5% Chinese, 25.7% black, and 20.7% Hispanic), 410 developed incident diabetes during a median follow-up time of 4.7 years (incidence 16.8 per 1,000 person-years). CRP, IL-6, and fibrinogen levels were associated with incident diabetes in the entire sample. After adjustment, the associations were attenuated; however, quartile 4 (versus quartile 1) of IL-6 (HR 1.5 [95% CI 1.1–2.2]) and CRP (1.7 [1.3–2.4]) remained associated with incident diabetes. In stratified analyses, similar associations were observed among white, black, and Hispanic participants.
Higher levels of inflammation predict short-term incidence of type 2 diabetes in a multiethnic American sample.
Recent studies have implicated the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) as a possible pathogen for causing hypertension. We aimed to study the association between HCMV infection and hypertension in the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
We analyzed data on 2979 men and 3324 women in the NHANES 1999–2002. We included participants aged 16–49 years who had valid data on HCMV infection and hypertension.
Of the participants, 54.7% had serologic evidence of HCMV infection and 17.5% had hypertension. There were ethnic differences in the prevalence of HCMV infection (P<0.001) and hypertension (P<0.001). The prevalence of both increased with age (P<0.001). Before adjustment, HCMV seropositivity was significantly associated with hypertension in women (OR = 1.63, 95% CI = 1.25–2.13, P = 0.001) but not in men. After adjustment for race/ethnicity, the association between HCMV seropositivity and hypertension in women remained significant (OR = 1.55, 95% CI = 1.20–2.02, P = 0.002). Further adjustment for body mass index, diabetes status and hypercholesterolemia attenuated the association (OR = 1.44, 95% CI = 1.10–1.90, P = 0.010). However, after adjusting for age, the association was no longer significant (OR = 1.24, 95% CI = 0.91–1.67, P = 0.162).
In this nationally representative population-based survey, HCMV seropositivity is associated with hypertension in women in the NHANES population. This association is largely explained by the association of hypertension with age and the increase in past exposure to HCMV with age.
Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is the main cause of genital herpes. Studies have found racial/ethnic disparities in HSV-2 prevalence, but there have been few studies of racial/ethnic differences in the proportion of infections that go without a genital herpes diagnosis.
Data from 1396 HSV-2-seropositive participants of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2004 were used to examine racial/ethnic differences in the odds of reporting being diagnosed previously with genital herpes.
The proportion of participants who reported not being diagnosed previously with genital herpes was 85.5%. In adjusted analysis, non-Hispanic blacks had twice the odds of reporting being undiagnosed as non-Hispanic whites (adjusted odds ratio = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.37, 2.87). Being undiagnosed was also significantly associated with less than high school education, no prior STI history or HIV test, no current health insurance, and residence in the Midwest and South.
The low proportion of genital herpes diagnosis among non-Hispanic blacks with HSV-2 is not accounted for by other socio-demographic factors or health insurance. Combined with the high prevalence of HSV-2, the low proportion of diagnosis in this population is more likely to contribute to ongoing HSV-2 transmission than among non-Hispanic whites or Mexican Americans. More research is needed to assess the role that lack of diagnosis plays in ongoing HSV-2 transmission, and whether targeted HSV-2 screening, counseling and treatment could be part of a more effective prevention strategy for non-Hispanic blacks.
Using commercially available herpes simplex virus (HSV) type-specific serological diagnostic tests, HSV type 2 (HSV-2) antibody prevalence was assessed in two parallel prospective studies including 534 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected outpatients living in two areas of northern France. In the first cohort of 434 subjects, 223 (51%) individuals demonstrated a positive HSV-2 serological status while 66 (66%) of 100 subjects in the second cohort were seropositive for HSV-2 (51 versus 66%; P = 0.08). Among the 223 HSV-2-seropositive subjects identified in the first study cohort, only 22 (10%) had suffered from recurrent anogenital lesions during the past 12 months while 154 (69%) had no clinical history of herpesvirus infection. Our findings demonstrate high proportions of subclinical and undiagnosed HSV-2 infection in HIV-1-infected individuals and suggest that HSV type-specific serological testing in the French HIV-1-infected subpopulation could be an efficient strategy to diagnose clinically asymptomatic HSV-2 infections.
Microvascular disease is a major pathogenic factor for chronic kidney disease (CKD) in persons with diabetes, but the role of microvascular disease in the development of CKD in the general population is unclear. The aim of this study is to examine whether microvascular disease precedes the development of CKD stage 3 in participants of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).
Population-based cohort study.
Setting & Participants
MESA is a prospective cohort study of adults aged 45-84 years living in 6 US communities; 4,594 adults with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2 when they underwent retinal photography (visit 2: in 2002-2004) were examined.
Retinal microvascular caliber measured from fundus photographs.
Incident CKD stage 3 (ie, eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2) at 2 subsequent follow-up examinations (visit 3 in 2004-2005, and visit 4 in 2005-2007) and an annual eGFR decrease >1 mL/min/1.73 m2 computed using the CKD Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) equation.
After a median follow-up of 4.8 years, there were 232 incident CKD stage 3 cases. Overall, retinal microvascular caliber was not associated with incident CKD stage 3. However, in race-stratified analysis, narrower arterioles in whites was associated with a higher risk of developing CKD stage 3 after adjusting for age, sex, blood pressure, diabetes, and other factors (HR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.01-3.15; P = 0.04, lowest vs highest arteriolar caliber tertile). This association was seen even in whites without hypertension and diabetes (HR, 2.95; 95% CI, 1.10-7.98; P = 0.03). Retinal arteriolar caliber was not associated with incident CKD stage 3 in African Americans, Chinese, or Hispanics.
Analyses were based on a single eGFR measurement, and retinal microvascular caliber and eGFR measurements were not ascertained concurrently.
Microvascular changes as manifest in the eye may contribute to the development of CKD stage 3 in whites.
Microvascular changes; retinal microvascular caliber; chronic kidney disease
Human herpesviruses (HHVs), e.g. herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1, Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus, appear in saliva at greater frequency in persons infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) than healthy individuals. However, it is not known if varicella zoster virus (VZV) and HSV-2 appear simultaneously during HIV infection at greater frequency in saliva during this era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and amounts of VZV and HSV-2 in the saliva of HIV-infected, orally asymptomatic patients.
Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to investigate the prevalence, quantity, risk, and correlates of salivary VZV and HSV-2 from 59 HIV-seropositive individuals and 53 healthy controls in a case-control, cross-sectional study. Seventy-eight percent of the HIV-seropositive patients (46/59) were taking HAART.
VZV DNA was detected in the saliva of 5.1% (3/59) of the HIV-positive group and in only one healthy control 1.9% (1/53; P = 0.62). The amount of VZV DNA in the expressors was low, generally less than 1,100 copies/mL with no observed difference between the HIV-positive group and the controls (P= 1.0). HSV-2 DNA was not detected in either group. In the HIV-infected group, VZV shedding occurred in those on HAART, but was not associated with oral lesions, specific CD4+ or CD8+ T-cell levels, or demographic factors.
VZV was detected at low prevalence in the saliva of HIV-infected persons whereas HSV-2 was not detected in the saliva of this cohort. HAART does not appear to diminish the risk for asymptomatic VZV shedding.
human immunodeficiency virus infection; saliva; herpesvirus; varicella; shedding; transmission
To describe the prevalence and risk factors of diabetic retinopathy in a multi-ethnic US population of whites, blacks, hispanics, and chinese.
Cross-sectional study of 778 individuals from ages 45 to 85 years with diabetes, participating in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).
Retinal photographs were obtained with a 45° nonmydriatic digital fundus camera. Presence and severity of diabetic retinopathy were graded at a central reading center on the basis of a modification of the Airlie House classification system. All participants underwent a standardized interview, examination, and laboratory investigations.
In this population with diabetes, the prevalence of any retinopathy was 33.2% and macular edema 9.0%. The prevalence of any diabetic retinopathy and macular edema was significantly higher in blacks (36.7% and 11.1%) and hispanics (37.4% and 10.7%) than in whites (24.8% and 2.7%) and chinese (25.7% and 8.9%) (P = .01 and P = .007, comparing racial/ethnic differences for retinopathy and macular edema, respectively). Significant independent predictors of any retinopathy were longer duration of diabetes, higher fasting serum glucose, use of diabetic oral medication or insulin, and greater waist-hip ratio. Race was not an independent predictor of any retinopathy.
This study provides contemporary data on the prevalence of and risk factors for diabetic retinopathy among whites, blacks, hispanics, and chinese participating in the MESA.
The overall burden of prior infections may contribute to atherosclerosis and stroke risk. We hypothesized that serological evidence of common infections would be associated with carotid plaque thickness in a multi-ethnic cohort.
Antibody titers to five common infectious microorganisms (i.e. Chlamydia pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori, cytomegalovirus, and herpesvirus 1 and 2) were measured among stroke-free community participants, and a weighted index of infectious burden (IB) was calculated based on Cox models previously derived from for the association of each infection with stroke risk. High-resolution carotid duplex Doppler studies were used to assess maximum carotid plaque thickness (MCPT). Weighted least squares regression was used to measure the association between IB and MCPT after adjusting for other risk factors.
Serological results for all five infectious organisms were available in 861 participants with MCPT measurements available (mean age 67.2+/−9.6 yrs). Each individual infection was associated with stroke risk after adjusting for other risk factors. The IB index (n=861) had a mean of 1.00 ± standard deviation 0.35, median 1.08. Plaque was present in 52% of participants (mean 0.90+/−1.04 mm). IB was associated with MCPT (adjusted increase in MCPT 0.09 mm, 95% confidence interval 0.03–0.15 mm, per standard deviation increase of IB).
A quantitative weighted index of infectious burden, derived from the magnitude of association of individual infections with stroke, was associated with carotid plaque thickness in this multi-ethnic cohort. These results lend support to the notion that past or chronic exposure to common infections, perhaps by exacerbating inflammation, contributes to atherosclerosis. Future studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis and to define optimal measures of infectious burden as a vascular risk factor.