B-thalassemia carrier state or thalassemia minor confers cardiovascular protection through favorable lipidemic and blood pressure profile. However, its impact on inflammatory status—a common denominator of the above conditions—has not been addressed.
We investigated a wide range of inflammatory markers [white blood cell (WBC) count, homocysteine, C-reactive protein (CRP), serum amyloid A (SAA), fibrinogen, plasminogen, fibronectin, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), and uric acid] in a large cohort of 15 805 newly diagnosed hypertensive patients (8299 men, 7506 women); 626 of them (4.0%) had thalassemia minor.
The levels of WBC, homocysteine, CRP, SAA, fibrinogen, and PAI-1 were significantly lower in thalassemia minor patients, but not of plasminogen, fibronectin, and uric acid. In multivariate linear regression analyses, the lower values of WBC (<0.001), CRP (<0.001), homocysteine (<0.001), fibrinogen (<0.001), and PAI-1 (0.008), but not of SAA, were independently associated with thalassemia minor. The interaction between thalassemia minor and body mass index had a significant impact only on WBC and CRP (P for the interaction 0.010 and 0.005, respectively), whereas the interaction between thalassemia minor and sex had a significant impact only on fibrinogen (P for the interaction 0.007).
Thalassemia minor is followed by a favorable inflammatory profile that may contribute to the overall better cardiovascular health of the carriers.
aDepartment of Cardiology, Evangelismos General Hospital, Athens, Greece
bDepartment of Cardiology, Athens University Hospital Attikon, Athens, Greece
cUniversity of Cyprus Medical School, Nicosia, Cyprus
dDepartment of Medical Laboratories, Technological Institute of Athens, Athens, Greece
eFirst Department of Cardiology, Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, Athens, Greece
Correspondence to Dimitrios T. Farmakis, MD, PhD, FESC, University of Cyprus Medical School, Shakolas Educational Center for Clinical Medicine, Palaios dromos Lefkosias Lemesou No. 215/6, 2029 Aglantzia, Nicosia, Cyprus Tel: +357 22895235; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received 21 February, 2018
Revised 18 January, 2019
Accepted 16 February, 2019