Sex differences in the longitudinal relationship of low-grade inflammation and echocardiographic measures in the Hoorn and FLEMENGHO Study

Sharon Remmelzwaal*, Joline W. J. Beulens, Petra J. M. Elders, Coen D. A. Stehouwer, Zhenyu Zhang, M. Louis Handoko, Yolande Appelman, Vanessa van Empel, Stephane R. B. Heymans, Lutgarde Thijs, Jan A. Staessen, A. Johanne van Ballegooijen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background This study aimed to determine the within-person and between-persons associations of low-grade inflammation (LGI) and endothelial dysfunction (ED) with echocardiographic measures related to diastolic dysfunction (DD) in two general populations and whether these associations differed by sex. Methods Biomarkers and echocardiographic measures were measured at both baseline and followup in the Hoorn Study (n = 383) and FLEMENGHO (n = 491). Individual biomarker levels were combined into either a Z-score of LGI (CRP, SAA, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α and sICAM-1) or ED (sICAM-1, sVCAM-1, sE-selectin and sTM). Mixed models were used to determine within-person and between-persons associations of biomarker Z-scores with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), left ventricular mass index (LVMI) and left atrial volume index (LAVI). These associations were adjusted for a-priori selected confounders. Results Overall Z-scores for LGI or ED were not associated with echocardiographic measures. Effect modification by sex was apparent for ED with LVEF in both cohorts (P-for interaction = 0.08 and 0.06), but stratified results were not consistent. Effect modification by sex was apparent for TNF-α in the Hoorn Study and E-selectin in FLEMENGHO with LVEF (P-for interaction≤0.05). In the Hoorn Study, women whose TNF-α levels increased with 1-SD over time had a decrease in LVEF of 2.2 (-4.5;0.01) %. In FLEMENGHO, men whose E-selectin levels increased with 1-SD over time had a decrease in LVEF of 1.6 (-2.7;-0.5) %. Conclusion Our study did not show consistent associations of LGI and ED with echocardiographic measures. Some evidence of effect modification by sex was present for ED and specific biomarkers.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0251148
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5 May
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021

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