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Ciccarone Articles

Ciccarone Center Research

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Carotid Atherosclerosis

Association between lipoprotein associated phospholipase A2 mass and subclinical coronary and carotid atherosclerosis in retired national football league players.
By: Pokharel Y, Nambi V, Martin SS, Hoogeveen RC, Nasir K, Khera A, Wong ND, Jones PH, Boone J, Roberts AJ, Ballantyne CM, Virani SS.

Retired National Football League (NFL) players were reported to have high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors. Lipoprotein Associated Phospholipase A2 (LpPLA2) has shown to be associated with cardiovascular disease in the general population, but it is unknown whether such an association exists in retired NFL players. Our objective was to assess whether LpPLA2 mass was associated with coronary artery calcium (CAC) and carotid artery plaque (CAP) in retired NFL players. LpPLA2 mass was not associated with coronary or carotid subclinical atherosclerosis in retired NFL players.

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Neck circumference is not associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in retired national football league players.
By: Pokharel Y, Macedo FY, Nambi V, Martin SS, Nasir K, Wong ND, Boone J, Roberts AJ, Ballantyne CM, Virani SS.
In retired NFL players with a high prevalence of CAC and carotid artery plaque, neck circumference was not associated with coronary or carotid subclinical atherosclerosis.
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Associations of common carotid intima-media thickness with coronary heart disease risk factors and events vary with distance from the carotid bulb.
By: Polak JF, Post WS, Carr JJ, Szklo M, O’Leary DH.
Common carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) measurements made below the carotid bulb are smaller but have more consistent associations with CHD risk factors and outcomes compared with IMT measured near the bulb.
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Incident stroke is associated with common carotid artery diameter and not common carotid artery intima-media thickness.
By: Polak JF, Sacco RL, Post WS, Vaidya D, Arnan MK, O’Leary DH.
Though common carotid IMT is not associated with stroke, inter-adventitial diameter of the common carotid artery is independently associated with first-time incident ischemic stroke even after adjusting for IMT.
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Usefulness of coronary and carotid imaging rather than traditional atherosclerotic risk factors to identify firefighters at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
By: Ratchford EV, Carson KA, Jones SR, Ashen MD.
Early detection and integration of imaging with traditional risk assessment will be important in preventing premature death and disability among firefighters.
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Family history of coronary heart disease (CHD) and markers of subclinical cardiovascular disease: Where do we stand?
By: Pandey AK, Pandey S, Blaha MJ, Agatston A, Feldman T, Ozner M, Santos RD, Budoff MJ, Blumenthal RS, Nasir K.
Family history of coronary artery disease is associated with markers of subclinical atherosclerosis, and this relationship remains statistically significant after adjusting for traditional risk factors. Our data suggest these individuals should be considered strongly as candidates for assessment of subclinical CVD to further refine risk and treatment goals.
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Low free testosterone in HIV-infected men is not associated with subclinical cardiovascular disease.
By: Monroe AK, Dobs AS, Xu X, Palella FJ, Kingsley LA, Post WS, Witt MD, Brown TT.

Low testosterone (T) is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and increased mortality in the general population; however, the impact of T on subclinical CVD in HIV disease is unknown. This study examined the relationships among free testosterone (FT), subclinical CVD, and HIV disease. Compared with HIV-uninfected men, HIV-infected men had lower FT, as well as more prevalent carotid lesions. In both groups, FT was not associated with CAC presence, log carotid IMT, or carotid lesion presence, suggesting that FT does not influence subclinical CVD in this population of men with and at risk for HIV infection.

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Association between traditional cholesterol parameters, lipoprotein particle concentration, novel biomarkers and carotid plaques in retired National Football League players.
By: Virani SS, Pompeii L, Lincoln AE, Dunn RE, Tucker AM, Nambi V, Nasir K, Vogel RA, Boone JL, Roberts AJ, Ballantyne CM.

We assessed whether low-density lipoprotein particle concentration (LDL-P) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein [hs-CRP] can identify subclinical atherosclerosis better than traditional cholesterol parameters in retired National Football League (NFL) players. Carotid artery plaques were common in retired NFL players and were strongly associated with LDL-P, especially among those with metabolic syndrome. hs-CRP was not associated with carotid plaques in this cohort.

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Short-term effect of atorvastatin on carotid artery elasticity.
By: Ratchford EV, Gutierrez J, Lorenzo D, McClendon MS, Della-Morte D, DeRosa JT, Elkind MSV, Sacco RL, Rundek T.
Short-term treatment with high-dose atorvastatin was associated with improvement in the carotid elasticity metrics. Carotid artery elasticity measured by B-mode ultrasound is a simple noninvasive measure of arterial wall function and may be a useful surrogate end point in clinical trials targeting individuals at increased risk for atherosclerosis.
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Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies from CHARGE consortium identifies common variants associated with carotid intima media thickness and plaque.
By: Bis JC, Kavousi M, Francheschini N, Isaacs A, Abecasis GR, Schminke U, Post WS, Smith AV, et al.

Carotid intima media thickness (cIMT) and plaque determined by ultrasonography are established measures of subclinical atherosclerosis that each predicts future cardiovascular disease events. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association data in 31,211 participants of European ancestry from nine large studies in the setting of the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium. We then sought additional evidence to support our findings among 11,273 individuals using data from seven additional studies. In the combined meta-analysis, we identified three genomic regions associated with common carotid intima media thickness and two different regions associated with the presence of carotid plaque (P < 5 × 10(-8)). The associated SNPs mapped in or near genes related to cellular signaling, lipid metabolism and blood pressure homeostasis, and two of the regions were associated with coronary artery disease (P < 0.006) in the Coronary Artery Disease Genome-Wide Replication and Meta-Analysis (CARDIoGRAM) consortium. Our findings may provide new insight into pathways leading to subclinical atherosclerosis and subsequent cardiovascular events.

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