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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2006 Dec;26(12):2745-51. Epub 2006 Sep 28.

Increased concentrations of C-reactive protein and IL-6 but not IL-18 are independently associated with incident coronary events in middle-aged men and women: results from the MONICA/KORA Augsburg case-cohort study, 1984-2002.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine II-Cardiology, University of Ulm Medical Center, Ulm, Germany.



We performed a prospective case-cohort study in initially healthy, middle-aged men and women from the MONICA/KORA Augsburg studies conducted between 1984 and 2002 to assess the role of IL-18 in comparison with IL-6 and CRP in the prediction of incident coronary heart disease (CHD).


Concentrations of IL-18 were measured in 382 case subjects with incident CHD and 1980 noncases. Mean follow-up was 11 years. Baseline concentrations of IL-18 were slightly higher in cases than in noncases (172.4 [1.0] versus 161.3 [1.0] pg/mL, respectively; P=0.114), but were clearly elevated for C-reactive protein (CRP) and IL-6 in cases compared with noncases. In multivariable analyses, accounting for classical cardiovascular risk factors and inflammatory markers, no statistically significant association was seen between increased concentrations of IL-18 and incident CHD both in men (hazard ratio [HR] and 95% confidence intervals [CIs] comparing extreme tertiles, 1.20; 95% CI, 0.85 to 1.69), and in women (HR, 1.25; 95% CI, 0.67 to 2.34). However, in this population increased concentrations of CRP and IL-6 were found to be independent predictors of future CHD events, even after multivariable adjustment.


Elevated concentrations of CRP and IL-6, but not IL-18, were independently associated with risk of CHD in subjects from an area with moderate absolute risk.

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