- •Femoral artery intima-media thickness is greater among adults with high coagulation burden.
- •Inflammatory and coagulation burden are associated with lower ankle-brachial index.
- •Femoral plaque presence and characteristics not related to inflammatory and coagulation burden
Background and aims
Several biomarkers of inflammation and coagulation have been implicated in lower extremity atherosclerosis. We utilized an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to identify distinct factors derived from circulating inflammatory and coagulation biomarkers then examined the associations of these factors with measures of lower extremity subclinical atherosclerosis, including the ankle-brachial index (ABI), common and superficial femoral intima-media thickness (IMT), and atherosclerotic plaque presence, burden, and characteristics.
The San Diego Population Study (SDPS) is a prospective, community-living, multi-ethnic cohort of 1103 men and women averaged age 70. Regression analysis was used to assess cross-sectional associations between the identified groupings of biomarkers (factors) and the ABI and femoral artery atherosclerosis measurements.
Two biomarker factors emerged from the factor analysis. Factor 1 consisting of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin (IL)-6, and fibrinogen was significantly associated with higher odds (OR = 1.99, p < 0.01) of a borderline ABI value (0.91–0.99), while Factor 2 containing D-dimer and pentraxin (PTX)-3 was significantly associated with higher common femoral artery (CFA) IMT (β = 0.23, p < 0.01) and lower ABI (β = −0.03, p < 0.01).
Two groupings of biomarkers were identified via EFA of seven circulating biomarkers of inflammation and coagulation. These distinct groups are differentially associated with markers of lower extremity subclinical atherosclerosis. Our findings suggest that high inflammatory and coagulation burden were better markers of more severe lower-extremity disease as indicated by low ABI rather than early atherosclerotic lesion development in the femoral artery.
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Published online: February 13, 2018
Accepted: February 8, 2018
Received in revised form: January 24, 2018
Received: October 6, 2017
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