Soluble Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecules May be Protective of Future Cardiovascular Disease Risk: Findings from the PREVEND Prospective Cohort Study

Setor K Kunutsor, Stephan J L Bakker, Robin P F Dullaart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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AIM: Soluble cell adhesion molecules, such as vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), intercellular adhesion molecule-1, E-selectin, and P-selectin, have been suggested to be associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk; however, the nature and magnitude of the association between VCAM-1 and CVD risk is uncertain. We aimed to assess the association of VCAM-1 with CVD risk and determine its potential utility for CVD risk prediction.

METHODS: VCAM-1 concentrations were measured at baseline in the PREVEND prospective study of 2,638 participants. Hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals [CI]) and measures of risk discrimination for CVD (e.g., C-index) and reclassification (i.e., net reclassification improvement) of participants were assessed.

RESULTS: During a median follow-up of 9.9 years, 614 CVD events occurred. Plasma VCAM-1 was weakly associated with several cardiovascular risk markers. In analyses adjusted for established cardiovascular risk factors, the hazard ratio (95% CI) for CVD per 1 standard deviation increase in loge VCAM-1 was 0.91 (0.84-0.99; P =0.020), which remained consistent after additional adjustment for body mass index, alcohol consumption, triglycerides, renal function, and C-reactive protein; hazard ratio (95% CI) 0.89 (0.82-0.97; P =0.006). Comparing the top versus bottom quintiles of VCAM-1 levels, the corresponding adjusted hazard ratios were 0.74 (0.57-0.96; P =0.023) and 0.70 (0.54-0.91; P =0.007) respectively. Adding VCAM-1 to a CVD risk prediction model containing conventional risk factors did not improve the C-index or net reclassification.

CONCLUSIONS: Plasma VCAM-1 is inversely and independently associated with CVD. However, VCAM-1 provides no significant improvement in CVD risk assessment beyond conventional CVD risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)804-818
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis
Issue number8
Early online date16 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • Vascular cell adhesion molecule-1
  • Soluble cell adhesion molecules
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Risk factor
  • Risk prediction

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