Inflammatory/hemostatic biomarkers are associated with coronary heart disease events, but relationships in asymptomatic midlife women are uncertain. We evaluated separately whether high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), fibrinogen, plasminogen-activator inhibitor 1, tissue plasminogen activator antigen, and circulating factor VII (factor VIIc) were associated with coronary artery calcification (CAC) in healthy midlife women.
A cross-sectional study was performed of participants from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation. Logistic and Tobit regression was used to assess associations between log-transformed biomarkers, and CAC presence (CAC > 0) and extent. Effect modification by race/ethnicity was evaluated.
The study included 372 women (mean age 51.3 y; 35.2% African-American). All biomarkers were positively associated with CAC presence and extent (P < 0.001 for all), adjusting for Framingham risk score, site, race/ethnicity, menopause status, income, and education. Additional adjustment for body mass index explained all associations except for factor VIIc, which remained associated with CAC extent only (P = 0.02). Final adjustment for insulin resistance, family history of cardiovascular disease, and cardiovascular medication use produced similar results. Associations between hsCRP, and CAC presence and extent were modified by race/ethnicity (P < 0.05). Log(hsCRP) was positively associated with CAC presence (odds ratio 3.25; 95% CI, 1.53-6.90; P = 0.002; per 1 log unit increase) and CAC extent (β = 19.66; SE = 7.67; P = 0.01; per 1 log unit increase) in African-Americans only.
Inflammatory/hemostatic biomarkers were associated with CAC through obesity, except for factor VIIc. Among African-American women only, hsCRP was independently associated with CAC, suggesting that hsCRP may have a role in coronary heart disease prevention in African-American midlife women.