Interleukin-6 in the Prediction of Primary Cardiovascular Events in Diabetes Patients: Results From the ESTHER Study

Atherosclerosis. 2011 May;216(1):244-7. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2011.01.041. Epub 2011 Feb 2.


Objectives: Circulating interleukin-6 (IL-6) is increased in diabetes patients who are in general also at greater cardiovascular risk. Thus, we investigated whether IL-6 is associated with incident primary cardiovascular events and improves risk prediction in diabetes patients.

Methods: Serum IL-6 levels were measured at baseline in 1072 diabetic participants of the ESTHER study. During 5 years of follow-up, 84 experienced a primary cardiovascular event (myocardial infarction, stroke, cardiovascular death). Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI), measures of model discrimination and calibration were calculated.

Results: High IL-6 levels were associated with increased event risk (adjusted HR 1.90 [95% CI 1.06-3.40] for top versus bottom tertile; p = 0.011). The addition of IL-6 to models containing Framingham score variables did not substantially improve prediction.

Conclusions: Although serum IL-6 was significantly associated with cardiovascular risk, it did not substantially improve risk prediction above traditional risk factors in a diabetic cohort.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / immunology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Complications / blood
  • Diabetes Complications / immunology*
  • Diabetes Complications / mortality
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / immunology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / mortality
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Up-Regulation


  • Biomarkers
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Interleukin-6