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Antibodies to citrullinated peptides and risk of coronary heart disease

      Abstract

      Objective

      Increased cardiovascular risk has been associated with high levels of serum antibodies to citrullinated proteins (ACPA) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Citrullination is part of many chronic inflammatory processes and we therefore investigated whether ACPA might be associated with coronary artery disease, in the absence of RA.

      Methods

      To maximize the potential predictive value of this retrospective study we included sera from a cohort of 3052 healthy male individuals, subsequently followed for the development of coronary artery disease, and documented for other disease risk factors. With each case event (myocardial infarction; n = 144), 2 matched controls were assigned.

      Results

      We found 10.4% of cases were ACPA positive compared to 3.8% of controls (odds ratio (95% CI) = 3.26 (1.36–7.80), p = 0.008), remaining significant after adjustment for classical risk factors including smoking and CRP (4.23 (1.22–14.61) p = 0.02).

      Conclusion

      The genesis and fine specificity of ACPA in patients with atherosclerosis, in the absence of Rheumatoid arthritis, may prove worthy of further investigation.

      Keywords

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