OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between Chlamydia pneumoniae seropositivity and aortic atherosclerotic plaques in the general population. BACKGROUND: Seroepidemiologic studies suggest that C pneumoniae infection plays a role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. METHODS: Transesophageal echocardiography was performed in 385 subjects (median age 66 years, range 51 to 101 years; 53% men), a sample of the Olmsted County (Minnesota) population. The association between C pneumoniae immunoglobulin (Ig) G antibody titers and aortic atherosclerotic plaques was examined. RESULTS: Chlamydia pneumoniae IgG antibodies (titers ≥1:16) were detected in 287 subjects (74.5%): low titers (1:16 to 1:32) in 58 (15.1%), intermediate titers (1:64 to 1:128) in 144 (37.4%), and high titers (≥1:256) in 85 subjects (22.1%). Antibody titers were not associated with the presence of aortic plaques after adjustment for age, gender, and smoking status (p = 0.64). Compared with titers <1:16, the adjusted odds ratios for aortic plaques were 1.46 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.63 to 3.42) for low titers, 1.32 (95% CI 0.68 to 2.55) for intermediate titers, and 0.94 (95% CI 0.42 to 2.07) for high titers. Among the subgroup with plaques, antibody titers were not associated with the presence of plaques ≥4 mm thick (p = 0.99), plaques ≥6 mm (p = 0.49), or mobile debris (p = 0.71), after adjustment for age and smoking. CONCLUSIONS: Chlamydia pneumoniae IgG antibody titers are not associated with the presence or severity of aortic atherosclerosis in the general population. These observations do not support a role for C pneumoniae infection in the initiation or progression of atherosclerosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine