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Eur Heart J. 2011 Feb;32(3):336-44. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehp010. Epub 2009 Feb 18.

Inflammatory biomarkers, physical activity, waist circumference, and risk of future coronary heart disease in healthy men and women.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA.



The aim of this study was to determine the contribution of physical activity and abdominal obesity to the variation in inflammatory biomarkers and incident coronary heart disease (CHD) in a European population.


In a prospective case-control study nested in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Norfolk cohort, we examined the associations between circulating levels or activity of C-reactive protein, myeloperoxidase (MPO), secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2), lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2), fibrinogen, adiponectin, waist circumference, physical activity, and CHD risk over a 10-year period among healthy men and women (45-79 years of age). A total of 1002 cases who developed fatal or non-fatal CHD were matched to 1859 controls on the basis of age, sex, and enrolment period. Circulating levels of C-reactive protein, sPLA2 (women only), fibrinogen, and adiponectin were linearly associated with increasing waist circumference and decreasing physical activity levels. After adjusting for waist circumference, physical activity, smoking, diabetes, systolic blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and further adjusted for hormone replacement therapy in women, C-reactive protein, MPO (men only), sPLA2, fibrinogen, but not Lp-PLA2 and adiponectin were associated with an increased CHD risk.


Inactive participants with an elevated waist circumference were characterized by deteriorated levels of inflammatory markers. However, several inflammatory markers were associated with an increased CHD risk, independent of underlying CHD risk factors such as waist circumference and physical activity levels.

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