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Atherosclerosis. 2009 Dec;207(2):466-70. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2009.06.004. Epub 2009 Jun 11.

Interleukin-6 promoter polymorphism and cardiovascular risk factors: the Health 2000 Survey.

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The Medical School at the University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.



Inflammatory factors modify the risk of cardiovascular diseases and atherosclerosis. The single base genetic polymorphism in the promoter region of inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL6 -174 G>C, rs1800795) is associated with the variation of IL-6 production. The aim of this study was to investigate whether IL6 -174 G>C is associated with the risk factors and early markers of atherosclerosis.


As part of Finnish Health 2000 Study, we performed carotid artery ultrasound examinations, IL6 -174 G>C genotyping and cardiovascular risk factor determination for 1334 subjects aged 46-76 years.


In men, serum total cholesterol was higher in IL6 -174 GG (5.70+/-0.88mmol/L) than in the GC (5.51+/-0.98mmol/L) or CC (5.38+/-0.97mmol/L, mean+/-SD, p=0.0059) groups. The same order was seen in LDL-C (GG 3.64+/-0.83mmol/L, GC 3.41+/-0.88mmol/L, CC 3.30+/-0.91mmol/L, p=0.0017). The opposite association was observed with plasma fasting glucose levels (GG 5.93+/-0.97, GC 6.11+/-1.34, CC 6.34+/-1.59mmol/L, p=0.043) and BMI (GG 26.8+/-3.42, GC 27.5+/-4.32, CC 28.0+/-3.81kg/m(2), p=0.027). IL6 -174 allele C homozygous men indicated a trend towards higher systolic blood pressure. IL6 -174 G>C was not associated with carotid artery compliance, intima media thickness or CRP. The effect size of IL6 -174 G>C on cardiovascular risk factors was not significant in women. These results suggest that IL6 -174 G>C modifies the levels of several metabolic risk factors of atherosclerosis in men.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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