Journal Article

Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate, an Independent Predictor of Coronary Heart Disease in Men and Women

Margret B. Andresdottir, Nikulas Sigfusson, Helgi Sigvaldason and Vilmundur Gudnason

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 158, issue 9, pages 844-851
Published in print November 2003 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online November 2003 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate, an Independent Predictor of Coronary Heart Disease in Men and Women

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The relation between erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD) or fatal cerebrovascular accident was assessed in a cohort of 7,988 men and 8,685 women who participated in The Reykjavik Study (Iceland). Cardiovascular risk assessment was based on characteristics at baseline, from 1967 to 1996. During an average follow-up of 19 and 20 years, 2,092 men and 801 women, respectively, developed CHD, and 251 men and 178 women died from cerebrovascular accident. For men, the fully adjusted increase in risk of developing CHD predicted by the top compared with the bottom quintile of ESR was 57% (hazard ratio = 1.57, 95% confidence interval: 1.38, 1.78; p < 0.001); for women, risk was increased by 49% (hazard ratio = 1.49, 95% confidence interval: 1.16, 1.90; p < 0.001). The increased risk after baseline ESR measurement was stable for up to 25 years for men and 20 years for women. The fully adjusted risk of death due to stroke predicted by increasing the ln(ESR + 1) by one standard deviation was increased by 15% for men (p = 0.06) and 16% for women (p = 0.08). In conclusion, ESR is a long-term independent predictor of CHD in both men and women. These findings support the evidence of an inflammatory process in atherosclerosis.

Keywords: coronary disease; inflammation; risk factors; Abbreviations: CHD, coronary heart disease; CI, confidence interval; ESR, erythrocyte sedimentation rate; HR, hazard ratio.

Journal Article.  4822 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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