Pathophysiology and Natural HistoryMarkers of inflammation are strong predictors of subclinical and clinical atherosclerosis in women with hypertensionRizzo, Manfredib; Corrado, Eglea; Coppola, Giuseppea; Muratori, Idaa; Novo, Giuseppinaa; Novo, SalvatoreaAuthor Information aDivision of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular and Nephro-Urological Diseases bDepartment of Clinical Medicine and Emerging Diseases, University Hospital ‘P. Giaccone’, Palermo, Italy Correspondence to Professor Salvatore Novo, Head, Chair of Cardiovascular Diseases, Post-graduate School of Cardiology and Master of Vascular Diseases, Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular and Nephro-Urological Diseases, University Hospital ‘P. Giaccone’ of the University of Palermo, Via del Vespro, Palermo 127–90127, Italy Tel: +39 091 655 4301; fax: +39 091 655 4301; e-mail: [email protected] Received 13 May 2008 Revised 2 July 2008 Accepted 11 July 2008 Coronary Artery Disease: January 2009 - Volume 20 - Issue 1 - p 15-20 doi: 10.1097/MCA.0b013e3283109065 Buy Metrics Abstract Cardiovascular diseases in women still rises and remains their leading cause of death in most developed countries; yet we have less sex-specific data in women than in men as a result of lower enrollment in clinical trials and low rates of sex-specific reporting. The aim of our study was to evaluate in hypertensive postmenopausal women the potential predictive role of markers of inflammation, for example, fibrinogen and C-reactive protein (CRP), on subclinical and clinical atherosclerosis, beyond that of the other established cardiovascular risk factors. We studied 127 asymptomatic hypertensive postmenopausal women with different degrees of carotid intima–media thickness, as examined by the eco-color-doppler ultrasonography, evaluating in a 5 years follow-up cerebrovascular and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. We preliminarily found that both fibrinogen and CRP levels were associated with the extension of carotid atherosclerosis (P<0.0001 and P=0.0445, respectively). We also found that among all established traditional cardiovascular risk factors (including obesity, diabetes, smoking habit, family history of coronary artery disease, dyslipidemia) only older age (P=0.0162), elevated fibrinogen (P=0.0298), and CRP (P=0.0345) were independent predictors of subclinical atherosclerosis. At the end of follow-up patients clinical events were registered in the 24% of patients and multivariate analysis revealed the following predictors of events: elevated CRP levels [odds ratio (OR): 12.6], the presence of family history of coronary artery disease(OR: 8.8) and older age (OR: 1.1). Beyond the utility of CRP and fibrinogen levels in the prediction of subclinical and clinical atherosclerosis, the therapeutic implications of these results remain to be evaluated by further studies. © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.