Biomarkers of cardiovascular stress and subclinical atherosclerosis in the community.
BACKGROUND: Biomarkers of cardiovascular stress have been associated with incident cardiovascular outcomes. Their relations with measures of subclinical atherosclerosis, as assessed by carotid intima-media thickness, have not been well described. METHODS: We measured plasma growth differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15), soluble ST2 (sST2), and high-sensitivity troponin I (hsTnI) in 3111 Framingham Offspring participants who also underwent carotid ultrasonography during the sixth examination (1995-1998, mean age 58 years, 54% women). Carotid measurements included maximal internal carotid artery (ICA) intima-media thickness (IMT), plaque presence (defined as ICA IMT >1.5 mm), and mean common carotid artery IMT. We carried out multivariable regressions for carotid measurements vs biomarkers using linear and logistic models; P < 0.0056 was deemed statistically significant. RESULTS: Maximal ICA IMT was significantly associated with plasma GDF-15 [β-estimate 0.04 per 1-U increase in log(GDF-15), SE 0.01, P < 0.0001]. Similarly, the odds of having carotid plaque increased 33% [odds ratio 1.33 per 1-U increase in log(GDF-15), 95% CI 1.20-1.48, P < 0.0001]. In contrast, there was no significant association of maximal ICA IMT or plaque presence with sST2 or hsTnI, and none of the 3 biomarkers was significantly associated with mean CCA IMT. GDF-15 was a stronger predictor of maximal ICA thickness and plaque presence compared with BNP and CRP when these conventional biomarkers were tested together. CONCLUSIONS: Increased GDF-15 concentrations are associated with subclinical atherosclerosis, including maximal ICA IMT and carotid plaque presence. Future studies investigating the role of GDF-15 for screening and management of patients with subclinical atherosclerosis are warranted.
Gopal, DM; Larson, MG; Januzzi, JL; Cheng, S; Ghorbani, A; Wollert, KC; Kempf, T; D'Agostino, RB; Polak, JF; Ramachandran, VS; Wang, TJ; Ho, JE
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