Increased detection of atherosclerosis in asthma patients
23 February 2017 (online)
Both asthma and atherosclerosis represent chronic inflammatory disorders. The aim of our present study was to determine if asthma may be associated with increased detection of atherosclerosis.
82 patients with allergic asthma and 21 matched controls underwent angiological examinations comprising the measurements of central pulse wave velocity (cPWV), ultrasound-based speckle-tracking analysis, ancle-brachial index (ABI) and duplex-sonographic detection of atherosclerotic plaques. Additionally, cardiovascular risk markers such as total cholesterol, HDL- and LDL-cholesterol, lipoprotein (a), C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6, fibrinogen, d-dimer and blood count were assessed in blood.
Asthma patients were characterized by increased central pulse wave velocity (6.3 ± 0.3 m/s vs. control: 4.9 ± 0.3 m/s, p < 0.05) and reduced circumferential (3.4 ± 0.2% vs. control: 4.3 ± 0.4%, p < 0.05) and radial strains (3.6 ± 0.2% vs. control: 5.0 ± 0.3%, p < 0.05) indicating an enhanced vessel stiffness. Media sclerosis identified by an ABI≥1.3 was significantly more frequent in asthma individuals (36.6% vs. control: 9.5%). The most important finding was the increased atherosclerotic plaque detection in asthma collective (37.8%) compared to the control (14.3%, p < 0.05). Except for relevantly increased fibrinogen concentrations (3.3 ± 0.11 g/l vs. control: 2.7 ± 0.1 g/l) and leukocyte number (7.9 ± 0.3G/l vs. control: 5.9 ± 0.2G/l) in asthma patients, there were no further differences in cardiovascular risk factors in blood between the groups.
Asthma patients presented significantly more pronounced atherosclerosis compared to the control group.