Leukocyte subtype counts and its association with vascular structure and function in adults with intermediate cardiovascular risk. MARK study

PLoS One. 2015 Apr 17;10(4):e0119963. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119963. eCollection 2015.


Objectives: We investigated the relationship between leukocyte subtype counts and vascular structure and function based on carotid intima-media thickness, pulse wave velocity, central augmentation index and cardio-ankle vascular index by gender in intermediate cardiovascular risk patients.

Methods: This study analyzed 500 subjects who were included in the MARK study, aged 35 to 74 years (mean: 60.3±8.4), 45.6% women.

Measurement: Brachial ankle Pulse Wave Velocity (ba-PWV) estimate by equation, Cardio-AnkleVascular Index (CAVI) using the VaSera device and Carotid ultrasound was used to measure carotid Intima Media Thickness (IMT). The Mobil-O-Graph was used to measure the Central Augmentation Index (CAIx).

Results: Total leukocyte, neutrophil and monocyte counts were positively correlated with IMT (p < 0.01) in men. Monocyte count was positively correlated with CAIx in women (p < 0.01). In a multiple linear regression analysis, the IMT mean maintained a positive association with the neutrophil count (β = 1.500, p = 0.007) in men. CAIx maintained a positive association with the monocyte count (β = 2.445, p = 0.022) in women.

Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that the relationship between subtype circulating leukocyte counts and vascular structure and function, although small, may be different by gender. In men, the neutrophil count was positively correlated with IMT and in women, the monocyte count with CAIx, in a large sample of intermediate-risk patients. These association were maintained after adjusting for age and other confounders.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01428934.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ankle Brachial Index
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / pathology
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Leukocytes / cytology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes / cytology
  • Neutrophils / cytology
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Vascular Stiffness / physiology*

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01428934

Grant support

This work was supported by grants funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN) and Carlos III Health Institute/European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) (MICINN, ISCIII/FEDER) (Red RedIAPP RD06/0018, Research Groups: RD06/0018/2009, RD06/0018/0045/RD06/0018/ 0027) and by the Health Research Fund(FIS PI10/01088, PI10/02077, PI10/02043) and Regional Health Management of the Castilla and León(GRS 635/A/11). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.