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1.  Inflammatory markers and extent and progression of early atherosclerosis: Meta-analysis of individual-participant-data from 20 prospective studies of the PROG-IMT collaboration 
Large-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.
Information 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.
Mean baseline CCA-IMT amounted to 0.74mm (SD = 0.18) and mean CCA-IMT progression over a mean of 3.9 years to 0.011 mm/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).
Inflammation 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.
PMCID: PMC4544641  PMID: 25416041
Inflammation; atherosclerosis; meta-analysis
2.  Neither endothelial function nor carotid artery intima-media thickness predicts coronary computed tomography angiography plaque burden in clinically healthy subjects: a cross-sectional study 
Cardiovascular risk assessment is usually based on traditional risk factors and risk assessment algorithms. However, a number of risk markers that might provide additional predictive power have been identified. Endothelial function determined by digital reactive hyperemia peripheral arterial tonometry (RH-PAT) and carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) have both been proposed as surrogate markers for coronary artery disease (CAD). We aimed to examine the ability of RH-PAT and IMT to predict coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) plaque burden in clinically healthy subjects.
Fifty-eight clinically healthy volunteers (50–73 years old) underwent testing for RH-PAT and IMT as well as coronary CTA, including coronary artery calcium (CAC) scoring. Coronary CTA was analyzed with respect to any atheromatous plaques, stenotic as well as non-stenotic. The Mann–Whitney U-test was used to compare the groups with and without CAD and the Spearman test was used to test for correlation between variables.
Twenty-five (43 %) subjects had normal coronary arteries, without any signs of atherosclerosis. The median (range) number of diseased segments was 1 (0–10), RH-PAT index 2.2 (1.4-4.9), IMT 0.70 (0.49-0.99) mm and CAC 4 (0–1882). There was no association between presence or extent of CAD and RH-PAT index (Spearman correlation coefficient rs = 0.13) or IMT (rs = 0.098). As expected, CAC was strongly correlated to presence and extent of CAD by coronary CTA (rs =0.86; p < 0.0001).
Neither evaluation of endothelial function by RH-PAT nor assessment of carotid artery IMT can reliably be used to predict coronary CTA plaque burden in clinically healthy subjects.
PMCID: PMC4494716  PMID: 26148508
CAD; Coronary artery disease; RH-PAT; PAT; Endothelial function; IMT; CIMT; Intima-media thickness; Coronary CTA; Coronary computed tomography angiography
3.  2-h postchallenge plasma glucose predicts cardiovascular events in patients with myocardial infarction without known diabetes mellitus 
Background and purpose
The incidence of cardiovascular events remains high in patients with myocardial infarction (MI) despite advances in current therapies. New and better methods for identifying patients at high risk of recurrent cardiovascular (CV) events are needed. This study aimed to analyze the predictive value of an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in patients with acute myocardial infarction without known diabetes mellitus (DM).
The prospective cohort study consisted of 123 men and women aged between 31–80 years who had suffered a previous MI 3–12 months before the examinations. The exclusion criteria were known diabetes mellitus. Patients were followed up over 6.03 ± 1.36 years for CV death, recurrent MI, stroke and unstable angina pectoris. A standard OGTT was performed at baseline.
2-h plasma glucose (HR, 1.27, 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.62; P < 0.05) and smoking (HR, 3.56, 95% CI, 1.02 to 12.38; P < 0.05) proved to be independent predictors of CV events in multivariate statistical analysis after adjustments for age, sex, total cholesterol, and other baseline characteristics.
In this study population, with previous MI and without known DM, 2-h PG and smoking were significant predictors of CV death, recurrent MI, stroke and unstable angina pectoris, independent of baseline characteristics and medical treatment.
PMCID: PMC3489682  PMID: 22873202

Results 1-3 (3)