Elevated white blood cell count is associated with arterial stiffness.Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2009; 19(1):3-7NM
BACKGROUND AND AIMS
White blood cell (WBC) count, a usual marker of systemic inflammation, is known to be associated with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The aim of the present study was to determine the association of WBC count with arterial stiffness measured by brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV).
METHODS AND RESULTS
We examined the association between WBC count and baPWV in 788 Korean adults (375 men, 413 women) in a health examination program. The odds ratios for a high baPWV were calculated using multivariate logistic regression analysis after adjusting for confounding variables across WBC count quartiles (Q1: <or=5190, Q2: 5200-6080, Q3: 6090-7310, and Q4: >or=7320 cells/mm(3)). A high baPWV was defined as more than 1440 cm/s (>75th percentile). Age-adjusted baPWV mean values gradually increased with WBC quartiles (Q1=1294, Q2=1322, Q3=1347, and Q4=1367 cm/s). The odds ratios (95% CI) for a high baPWV in each WBC count quartile were 1.00, 1.34 (0.61-3.00), 2.20 (0.96-5.06), and 2.69 (1.15-6.47) after adjusting for age, sex, cigarette smoking, alcohol intake, regular exercise, body mass index (BMI), mean arterial blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose, triglyceride, HDL-cholesterol, gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), and uric acid.
These findings indicate that elevated WBC count is associated with arterial stiffness. Accordingly, early detection of an elevated WBC count is important for arterial function and the assessment of cardiovascular risk.