White Blood Cell count and all-cause mortality

High white blood cell count, high CHD mortality

A high White Blood Cell (WBC) count is associated with a high all-cause mortality in the Zutphen Elderly Study. After adjustment for risk factors each 10/9/L increase in WBC was associated with a 21% higher 5-year CHD mortality. Smoking increases WBC, but this association is independent of smoking.

Interpretation

WBCs are activated in the presence of atherosclerosis, which can be viewed as an inflammatory process. Activated WBCs may also release products that induce plaque rupture and subsequent thrombus formation, which could result in fatal CHD. We conclude that WBC count may be an important risk factor of CHD in older people

References

Visscher et al. Am J Epidemiol 2000;151:660-6

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Studies in the elderly

The Zutphen Elderly, HALE and FINE studies researched the indicators of healthy ageing.

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