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Rev Cardiovasc Med. 2004;5 Suppl 3:S22-7.

Inflammatory biomarkers in African Americans: a potential link to accelerated atherosclerosis.

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Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and the Donald Reynolds Center for Cardiovascular Research, Divisions of Cardiovascular Diseases and Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Experimental evidence demonstrates that inflammation plays a key role in the pathogenesis of an atherosclerotic plaque. Whereas multiple, large, prospective epidemiologic studies demonstrate that C-reactive protein (CRP) and other inflammatory biomarkers predict future risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), data on inflammation among specific ethnic groups in the United States are sparse. For example, CRP levels may vary by race/ethnicity but more data are needed to better assess this issue. Additionally, data on the relationship between white blood cell (WBC) count and CVD among African American and Hispanic participants suggest that elevated WBC is associated with increased likelihood of vascular disease. Furthermore, some research suggests that African Americans may have different fibrinolytic characteristics than white Americans. Generally, fibrinogen levels have been noted to be higher among African Americans than among white Americans. Although data regarding inflammatory biomarkers of CVD in various ethnic groups are slowly emerging, the lack of adequate representation of African Americans in clinical cohorts continues to be the limiting factor in data ascertainment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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