We have previously shown that an increase in serum IgA and C4 is often detectable in presence of diffuse atherosclerotic disease. The present study was performed to verify such results in a different and larger sample of subjects, and to ascertain whether the above immunologic variables are correlated with the severity of atherosclerotic disease. Seventy-three atherosclerotic subjects with at least 1 significant (> 75%) stenosis in a major arterial branch were selected according to the reports of arterial panangiographies performed previously. Among them, 36 subjects (24 men and 12 women, mean age 63 +/- 7 years) were singled out, who matched by age and sex 36 control subjects (mean age 63 +/- 7 years). In all of these subjects the following serum immunologic and lipid variables were measured: IgG, IgA, IgM, IgE, C3, C4, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. With respect to the controls, the 36 matched atherosclerotic subjects had higher levels of IgA (263.0 +/- 119.8 vs 334.3 +/- 130.5 mg/dl; p = 0.0126), C4 (25.7 +/- 5.8 vs 30.4 +/- 9.1 mg/dl; p = 0.0297) and triglycerides (153.1 +/- 77.3 vs 209.7 +/- 141.3; p = 0.0500). No correlation was found between the number of arterial stenoses (range 1-8, mean 2.9 +/- 1.5) and any of the immunologic or lipid parameters in all the 73 atherosclerotic subjects. Only the daily cigarette consumption was correlated with the disease extension (tau = 0.1984; p = 0.0392).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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