High IL-6 Levels Linked to Carotid Plaque Severity, Progress
The study, an analysis of the large Cardiovascular Health Study, is the latest in a growing body of work that suggests a link between inflammation and stroke. Researchers analyzed carotid plaque assessments and IL-6 levels in 4334 participants aged 65 years at baseline and again after 5 years. Nearly 30% of patients showed plaque vulnerability at baseline, defined as irregular, ulcerated, or echolucent plaques. At 5 years, 34% had plaque progression, measured using a standardized scoring system for carotid narrowing.

IL-6 levels predicted plaque severity (P = .04), vulnerability (odds ratio [OR], 1.22; P = .006), and progression (OR, 1.44; P < .001). Researchers also identified a cutoff level for IL-6 — 2.0 pg/mL — that helped to correctly identify plaque progression in more than 70% of patients. For carotid plaque severity, researchers found that for each 1 standard deviation increase in the levels of IL-6, there was a 0.08 increase in the carotid plaque severity score. They also reported a 12% increase in plaque vulnerability found on carotid ultrasound per 1 standard deviation increase in IL-6, and a 24% increase in plaque progression at 5 years per 1 standard deviation increase in the levels of IL-6 from baseline.

Increased circulating levels of the cytokine interleukin 6 (IL-6) are associated with carotid plaque severity and progression, contributing to an increased risk of stroke.

Source: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/974221?src=rss
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