Background: Previous studies have suggested that circulating concentrations of soluble adhesion molecules are useful predictors of risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Larger studies are needed, however, to test this hypothesis.
Methods: We measured serum concentrations of four soluble cell adhesion molecules (intercellular adhesion molecule-1 [ICAM-1], vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 [VCAM-1], E-selectin, and P-selectin) in the stored baseline serum samples of 643 men with coronary heart disease and 1278 controls nested in a prospective sutdy of 5661 men who were monitored for 16 years. We also did a meta-analysis of previous relevant studies to place our findings in context.
Results: Concentrations of soluble adhesion molecules were significantly associated with one another, with other markers of inflammation, and with some classic coronary risk factors. For ICAM-1, the odds ratio for CHD was 1.68 (95% CI 1.32-2.14) in a comparison of men in the top third with those in the bottom third of baseline measurements after adjustments for age and town. This decreased to 1.11 (0.75-1.64) after adjustment for some classic coronary risk factors and indicators of socioeconomic status. For the three other cell adhesion molecules, the odds ratios for CHD, first adjusted for age and town only, and then additionally adjusted for other risk factors, were: VCAM-1: 1.26 (0.99-1.61) and 0.96 (0.66-1.40); E-selectin: 1.27 (1.00-1.61) and 1.13 (0.78-1.62); and P-selectin: 1.23 (0.96-1.56) and 1.20 (0.81-1.76).
Interpretation: The measurement of these adhesion molecules is unlikely to add much predictive information to that provided by more established risk factors.