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Atherosclerosis. 2011 May;216(1):244-7. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2011.01.041. Epub 2011 Feb 2.

Interleukin-6 in the prediction of primary cardiovascular events in diabetes patients: results from the ESTHER study.

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Institute for Clinical Diabetology, German Diabetes Center, Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Auf'm Hennekamp 65, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.



Circulating interleukin-6 (IL-6) is increased in diabetes patients who are in general also at greater cardiovascular risk. Thus, we investigated whether IL-6 is associated with incident primary cardiovascular events and improves risk prediction in diabetes patients.


Serum IL-6 levels were measured at baseline in 1072 diabetic participants of the ESTHER study. During 5 years of follow-up, 84 experienced a primary cardiovascular event (myocardial infarction, stroke, cardiovascular death). Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI), measures of model discrimination and calibration were calculated.


High IL-6 levels were associated with increased event risk (adjusted HR 1.90 [95% CI 1.06-3.40] for top versus bottom tertile; p = 0.011). The addition of IL-6 to models containing Framingham score variables did not substantially improve prediction.


Although serum IL-6 was significantly associated with cardiovascular risk, it did not substantially improve risk prediction above traditional risk factors in a diabetic cohort.

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