Much of the increased risk for atherosclerosis progression with age may be a result of age-related declines in the capacity of precursor cells to repair damage in the arterial endothelium. To estimate the impact of progenitor cell therapy for atherosclerosis on cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, life expectancy, and survival, as compared with the lifetime control of conventional risk factors, we modeled the health effects of bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cell therapy using data from the 1950 to 1996 follow-up of the Framingham Heart Study. To model cardiovascular disease mortality, we assumed that progenitor cell therapy was applied at age 30, with the effect assumed to be a 10-year delay in atherosclerosis progression. Age projections were constructed analytically using the stochastic process model for risk factor dynamics and mortality and microsimulation techniques. We considered three types of interventions: (i) keeping risk factors within selected limits to model current clinical recommendations; (ii) an age shift of 10 years to model the effects of progenitor cell therapy; and (iii) elimination of a competing risk (such as cancer). Our study suggests that progenitor cell therapy might increase life expectancy in the population as much as the complete elimination of cancer (in females, an additional 3.67 versus 3.37 years; in males, an additional 5.94 versus 2.86 years, respectively).
ASJC Scopus subject areas