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Keywords:

  • atherosclerosis;
  • cardiovascular diseases;
  • epidemiology;
  • inflammation;
  • pentraxin 3

Summary

Objective

Pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is probably a specific marker of vascular inflammation. However, associations of PTX3 with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk have not been well studied in healthy adults or multi-ethnic populations. We examined associations of PTX3 with CVD risk factors, measures of subclinical CVD, coronary artery calcification (CAC) and CVD events in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.

Approach and Results

Two thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight participants free of prevalent CVD with measurements of PTX3 were included in the present study. After adjustment for age, sex, and ethnicity, PTX3 was positively associated with age, obesity, insulin, systolic blood pressure, C-reactive protein (CRP), and carotid intima–media thickness (all P < 0.045). A one standard deviation increase in PTX3 level (1.62 ng mL−1) was associated with the presence of CAC in fully adjusted models including multiple CVD risk factors (relative risk of 1.05; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01–1.08). In fully adjusted models, a standard deviation higher level of PTX3 was associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction (hazard ratio [HR] 1.51; 95% [CI] 1.16–1.97), combined CVD events (HR 1.23; 95% [CI] 1.05–1.45), and combined CHD events (HR 1.33; 95% [CI] 1.10–1.60), but not stroke, CVD-related mortality, or all-cause death.

Conclusions

In these apparently healthy adults, PTX3 was associated with CVD risk factors, subclinical CVD, CAC and incident coronary heart disease events independently of CRP and CVD risk factors. These results support the hypothesis that PTX3 reflects different aspects of inflammation than CRP, and may provide additional insights into the development and progression of atherosclerosis.