Relations of Inflammation and Novel Risk Factors to Valvular Calcification

Caroline S. Fox, Chao Yu Guo, Martin G. Larson, Ramachandran S. Vasan, Helen Parise, Christopher J. O'Donnell, Ralph B. D'Agostino, John F. Keaney, Emelia J. Benjamin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Investigators have suggested that inflammation may play a role in the pathogenesis of valve calcium. Participants in the Framingham Heart Study's offspring cohort had systemic levels of C-reactive protein, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, interleukin-6, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 measured at examination cycle 7. Mitral annular calcium, aortic annular calcium, aortic sclerosis, and aortic stenosis were assessed by echocardiography at examination cycle 6. Logistic regression was used to examine the odds of valvular calcium per 1 unit increase in inflammation (ISUM), a summary statistic of all normalized deviates of the individual markers. Two thousand six hundred eighty-three participants (mean age 61 ± 10 years; 52% women) were analyzed: 8.2% (n = 216) had ≥1 calcified valve or annulus; 89 had mitral annular calcium, 78 had aortic annular calcium, 135 had aortic sclerosis, and 33 had aortic stenosis. Participants with valvular calcium were older and were more likely to have hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Participants with valve calcium had higher median levels of all markers. For each log unit increase in ISUM, after adjustment for age and gender, there was an associated 1.1-fold increased odds of ≥1 calcified valve (p = 0.02); the odds ratios were no longer significant after adjustment for cardiovascular disease risk factors (odds ratio 1.0, 95% confidence interval 0.9 to 1.1). Similar results were obtained for the individual markers and the odds of ≥1 calcified valve. In conclusion, inflammatory markers were elevated in patients with valvular calcium. Our findings suggest that much of the observed association between systemic inflammatory markers and valvular calcium may be due to shared risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1502-1505
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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