Markers of inflammation are predictive of cardiovascular events but their association with atherosclerotic burden remains poorly defined. We hypothesized that markers of inflammation, including C-reactive protein (CRP), white blood cell (WBC) count, and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2), would be associated with the ankle-brachial index (ABI), a marker of atherosclerotic burden. Subjects were 247 patients referred for lower extremity arterial evaluation to the non-invasive vascular laboratory excluding those with active infection or lower extremity revascularization within the previous year. ABI was measured at two sites in both legs and the lowest of four measurements was used in the analyses. CRP was measured by a high-sensitivity immunoturbidimetric assay and Lp-PLA2 was measured by ELISA. The mean patient age was 68±11 years, and 54% were men. Mean ABI was 0.84 ± 0.31 and 49% had an ABI < 0.9. Age, hypertension, fasting plasma glucose, and 'ever' smoking were independently associated with the ABI. Spearman correlation coefficients of inflammatory markers with the ABI were: CRP (r= -0.15, p = 0.02), WBC count (r= -0.27, p = 0.001), and Lp-PLA2 (r= -0.09, p = 0.21). In a multiple regression model that included conventional risk factors and statin use, CRP and WBC count were no longer significantly associated with ABI, whereas Lp-PLA2 was a borderline-significant predictor of lower ABI (p = 0.05). These data indicate that CRP and WBC count are not independently associated with ABI, a marker of atherosclerotic burden in subjects referred for non-invasive lower extremity arterial evaluation. The association of Lp-PLA2 with ABI merits further study.
- Ankle-brachial index
- C-reactive protein
- White blood cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine