Carotid intima-media thickness is associated with allelic variants of stromelysin-1, interleukin-6, and hepatic lipase genes: The Northern Manhattan Prospective Cohort Study

Tatjana Rundek, Mitchell S. Elkind, John Pittman, Bernadette Boden-Albala, Steve Martin, Steve E. Humphries, Suh Hang Hank Juo, Ralph L Sacco

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189 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose - Atherosclerosis is a complex disorder with hereditary and environmental causes. Carotid artery intima-media wall thickness (IMT) is a useful measure of atherosclerosis. The objective of this study was to determine the association between carotid IMT and functional promoter variants of stromelysin-1 (MMP3: -1612 5A>6A), interleukin-6 (IL6: -174G>C), and hepatic lipase (HL: -480C>T) genes. Methods - B-mode carotid ultrasound was performed among 87 subjects (mean age, 70±12 years; 55% women; 60% Caribbean-Hispanic, 25% black, and 13% white) from the Northern Manhattan Prospective Cohort Study. Carotid IMT was calculated as a composite measure (mean of the maximum IMT in the bifurcation, the common carotid artery, and the internal carotid artery). Results - For all polymorphisms, genotype distribution was not significantly different from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The frequencies of the rare alleles were as follows: MMP3 -1612 5A>6A, 0.31 (95% CI, 0.25 to 0.39); IL6 - 174 G>C, 0.20 (95% CI, 0.13 to 0.25); and HL -480 C>T, 0.45 (95% CI, 0.35 to 0.50). Carotid IMT in the sample was 0.78±0.18 mm. Subjects with the MMP3 genotype 6A6A had 8% greater mean carotid IMT than the other MMP3 genotypes combined (0.95±0.17 versus 0.87±0.15 mm; P=0.04). Subjects with the IL6 genotype GG had 11% greater IMT (0.85±0.17 versus 0.76±0.16 mm; P=0.03), and those with the HL genotype CC had 13% greater IMT (0.87±20 versus 0.76±0.18 mm; P=0.02) than the other genotypes combined. Adjustment for other risk factors did not change these associations. Conclusions - Carotid IMT is higher among subjects homozygous for functional variants in genes related to matrix deposition (MMP3 -16126A), inflammation (IL6 -174G), and lipid metabolism (HL -480C). These associations were independent of race-ethnicity and some environmental exposures. Further studies are needed to confirm these genotype-phenotype associations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1420-1423
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 27 2002
Externally publishedYes



  • Genetics
  • Interleukin-6
  • Intima-media thickness
  • Lipase
  • Stromelysin 1
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)

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