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Relation of serum cytokine concentrations to cardiovascular risk factors and coronary heart disease.
  1. M. A. Mendall,
  2. P. Patel,
  3. M. Asante,
  4. L. Ballam,
  5. J. Morris,
  6. D. P. Strachan,
  7. A. J. Camm,
  8. T. C. Northfield
  1. Mayday University Hospital, Thornton Health, Surrey, UK.


    OBJECTIVE: To determine whether serum concentrations of the cytokines tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) and interleukin 6 (IL-6), which regulate C reactive protein, are associated with cardiovascular risk factors and prevalent coronary heart disease. DESIGN: A population based cross sectional study. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: 198 men aged 50 to 69 years were part of a random population sample drawn from south London. Serum cytokine and C reactive protein concentrations were determined by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. The presence of coronary heart disease was determined by Rose angina questionnaire and Minnesota coded electrocardiogram. RESULTS: Serum TNF alpha concentrations were positively related to body mass index and Helicobacter pylori infection, but inversely related to alcohol consumption. IL-6 concentrations were positively associated with smoking, symptoms of chronic bronchitis, age, and father having a manual occupation. TNF alpha was associated with increased IL-6 and triglycerides, and reduced high density lipoprotein cholesterol. IL-6 was associated with raised fibrinogen, sialic acid, and triglycerides. ECG abnormalities were independently associated with increases in IL-6 and TNF alpha, each by approximately 50% (P < 0.05 for TNF alpha, P < 0.1 for IL-6). The corresponding increases in men with an abnormal ECG or symptomatic coronary heart disease were 28% for TNF alpha and 36% for IL-6 (P = 0.14 for TNF alpha and P < 0.05 for IL-6). CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms that many of the phenomena with which C reactive protein is associated, are also associated with serum levels of cytokine, which may be the mechanism.

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