Vascular medicine (London, England)

The relationship between adiposity-associated inflammation and coronary artery and abdominal aortic calcium differs by strata of central adiposity: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).

PMID 24907349


Adipokines regulate metabolic processes linked to coronary artery (CAC) and abdominal aorta calcification (AAC). Because adipokine and other adiposity-associated inflammatory marker (AAIM) secretions differ between visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue, we hypothesized that central adiposity modifies associations between AAIMs and CAC and AAC. We evaluated 1878 MESA participants with complete measures of AAIMs, anthropometry, CAC, and AAC. Associations of AAIMs with CAC and AAC prevalence and severity were analyzed per standard deviation of predictors (SD) using log binomial and linear regression models. The waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) was dichotomized at median WHR values based on sex/ethnicity. CAC and AAC prevalence were defined as any calcium (Agatston score >0). Severity was defined as ln (Agatston score). Analyses examined interactions with WHR and were adjusted for traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors. Each SD higher interleukin-6 (IL-6), fibrinogen and CRP was associated with 5% higher CAC prevalence; and each SD higher IL-6 and fibrinogen was associated with 4% higher AAC prevalence. Associations of IL-6 and fibrinogen with CAC severity, but not CAC prevalence, were significantly different among WHR strata. Median-and-above WHR: each SD higher IL-6 was associated with 24.8% higher CAC severity. Below-median WHR: no association (p interaction=0.012). Median-and-above WHR: each SD higher fibrinogen was associated with 19.6% higher CAC severity. Below-median WHR: no association (p interaction=0.034). Adiponectin, leptin, resistin, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha were not associated with CAC or AAC prevalence or severity. These results support findings that adiposity-associated inflammation is associated with arterial calcification, and further add that central adiposity may modify this association.