White Blood Cell count and coronary heart disease

High White Blood Cell count, high CHD mortality


White Blood Cell count and CHD mortality
A high White Blood Cell (WBC) count is associated with a higher CHD mortality in the Zutphen Elderly Study. After adjustment for risk factors each 109/L increase in WBC was associated with a 27% greater 5-year CHD mortality. WBC is greater in smokers, but this association was independent of smoking.

Interpretation

WBCs are activated in the presence of atherosclerosis, which is an inflammatory process. Activated WBCs release products that induce plaque rupture and subsequent thrombus formation resulting in fatal CHD. Zutphen Elderly Study results suggest that WBC count is an important risk factor of CHD in older people.

References

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