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Circulating vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and subclinical atherosclerosis

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Background: It has been suggested that elevated levels of soluble forms of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1) may be an index of endothelial activation or even a molecular marker of early atherosclerosis. The aim of this study was to determine plasma levels of VCAM-1 in a group of young healthy adults and to evaluate correlations between VCAM-1, subclinical atherosclerosis and cardiovascular risk factors.

Methods: Study was conducted on 49 young (aged 20-40 years, 40 men) healthy adults with cardiovascular risk factors. Cardiovascular risk factors, serum VCAM-1, flow mediated dilation (FMD) for evaluation of endothelial function and carotid-intimaemedia- thickness (CIMT) were determined in all subjects.

Results: Mean values for VCAM-1 were 535,69 +- 77,64 ng ml. Serum levels of VCAM-1 correlated with age (r=0,35, p=0,01), blood glucose (r=0,43, p=0,01), systolic blood pressure (r=0,28, p=0,04) and also strongly correlated with CIMT (r= 0,64, p<0,0001) and inversely with FMD (r= – 0,62, p<0,0001). In multiple regression analysis CIMT (r=0, 64, p =0,019) and FMD (r= – 0, 61, p=0,029) remained independent predictors of circulating levels of VCAM-1.

Conclusions: SerumVCAM-1 concentrations correlate with markers of subclinical atherosclerosis. VCAM-1 can be useful as a serum marker for subclinical atherosclerosis and can serve as a diagnostic basis for early secondary prevention. Abbreviations: BMI=body mass index, CIMT = carotidintimae- media-thickness, DBP=diastolic blood pressure FMD = flow mediated dilation, SBP=systolic blood pressure sVCAM-1= vascular cell adhesion molecule-1

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