Soluble Fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) is associated with subclinical and clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease: The Dallas Heart Study

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Abstract

Background and aims: Soluble Fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) plays a role in angiogenesis, atherogenesis, and preeclampsia. The relationship of sFlt-1 with markers of subclinical atherosclerosis and future atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) events in a generally healthy population is unknown. Methods: Participants in the Dallas Heart Study with sFlt-1 measured were included (n = 3292). Abdominal aortic atherosclerosis was measured by MRI and coronary artery calcium (CAC) by CT. The cohort was also followed for subsequent ASCVD events (CV death, MI, stroke, unstable angina, revascularization). Multivariable linear and logistic regression analyses and Cox regression analyses were performed adjusting for demographics and traditional cardiac risk factors. Results: sFlt-1 levels were higher in older individuals, males, and African Americans, and tracked with most traditional risk factors. sFlt-1 was significantly associated with higher prevalence of aortic plaque [OR 1.33 (95% CI 1.02–1.73)], greater abdominal aortic wall thickness (p<0.01) and aortic plaque area (p<0.02) but no difference in coronary artery calcification. There were 322 ASCVD events over 12 years of follow-up. Higher sFlt-1 levels associated with increased ASCVD events in unadjusted (16.1% vs. 8.9%, p<0.001, quartile 4 vs. quartile 1) and adjusted analyses (HR 1.58 [1.14–2.18], p<0.01, quartile 4 vs. quartile 1). Findings were unchanged when analyzing sFlt-1 as a continuous variable or when excluding those with a history of ASCVD. Conclusions: In a population-based cohort, sFlt-1 is associated with measures of subclinical aortic atherosclerosis and clinical ASCVD events. Future studies are warranted on the therapeutic potential of targeting sFlt-1 for atherosclerotic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-52
Number of pages7
JournalAtherosclerosis
Volume346
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • ASCVD
  • Atherosclerosis
  • sFlt-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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