Association of an allelic variant of interleukin-6 with subclinical carotid atherosclerosis in an Australian community population

C.M.L. Chapman, John Beilby, S.E. Humphries, Lyle Palmer, Peter Thompson, Joe Hung

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Aims Atherosclerosis can be viewed as a low grade inflammatory process, and genetic polymorphisms within cytokines are candidate risk factors for the development of atherosclerosis. We examined the association of a common functional variant in the IL-6 gene with carotid intimal-medial wall thickness (IMT) and the presence of plaques in a randomly selected, cross-sectional Australian population.Methods B-mode carotid ultrasound was performed on 1109 subjects aged 27-77 years, who were genotyped for the IL-6 polymorphism (-174G>C) and assessed for conventional Cardiovascular risk factors.Results The frequency of the IL-6 -174C allele was 0.41. Initial univariate analysis showed no association of the IL-6 -174G>C polymorphism with carotid IMT. Multivariate analysis however showed an association of the IL-6 -174C allele with increased IMT in subjects older than the median age of 53 years (P=0.005). Initial univariate analysis of the IL-6 -174 G>C polymorphism and carotid plaque showed no association in the whole sample. In multivariate analysis the - 174C allele was independently associated with an increased risk of carotid plaque in the whole sample (CC vs GG, OR=2.22, 95% CI=1.32 to 3.73, P=0.003).Conclusions This study shows that the IL-6 -174G>C variant is independently associated with carotid plaque formation in the whole population and an increased carotid IMT in older subjects within a randomly selected, cross-sectional Australian population. (C) 2003 The European Society of Cardiology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1494-1499
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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