Introduction: Although it has been suggested that increased concentrations of activated platelet biomarkers are associated with increased risk of incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the general population, evidence for this association is still controversial. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that activated platelets, measured by higher concentrations of β-thromboglobulin, are associated with increased risk of incident CVD (coronary heart disease, heart failure ischemic stroke, and atrial fibrillation).
Materials and methods: We prospectively followed a cohort random sample of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) cohort, aged 45-64years, and free of CVD at baseline who had previous measurements of plasma β-thromboglobulin. We identified incident CVD from 1987 through 2013, and used a weighted Cox proportional hazard models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Results: During the 14,387person-years of follow-up for the 746 participants, we identified 140 coronary heart diseases, 123 heart failures, 54 ischemic strokes, and 126 atrial fibrillations. The age-, sex-, and race-adjusted model showed no association between plasma β-thromboglobulin and CVD, regardless of subtypes. After further adjustment for other CVD risk factors, including antiplatelet agent use, β-thromboglobulin remained unassociated with CVD risk.
Conclusions: In the prospective population-based ARIC cohort, β-thromboglobulin was not associated with CVD risk. Our results do not support the hypothesis that a blood marker of higher platelet activity reflects increased future risk of CVD in the general population.
Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; General population; Platelet activity; Prospective study.
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