Several recent studies have indicated an association between key inflammatory mediators and atherosclerotic diseases. We evaluated whether high levels of antibodies against heat shock proteins and cholesterol (ACHA) predicted cardiovascular (CV) events.
Methods and Results—
We used blood samples from the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) study to conduct a nested case-control study of 386 cases with CV events and 386 age- and sex-matched HOPE study controls without events. We explored the relationship between anti-hsp antibodies, ACHA, and subsequent outcomes (incident myocardial infarction, stroke, or CV death) during a mean follow-up of 4.5 years using conditional logistic regression. High levels of anti-hsp65 antibodies (≥90th percentile) predicted CV events (OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.2 to 3.9,
=0.01). Anti-hsp60 antibodies did not predict any event type, whereas incident stroke developed significantly less frequently in patients with high ACHA levels. Anti-hsp antibodies and ACHA did not correlate with inflammatory (fibrinogen, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, intracellular adhesion molecule-1) or infectious markers (
or cytomegalovirus antibodies). Anti-hsp65 antibodies (≥90th percentile) and fibrinogen (highest tertile) had a strong joint effect: patients with high concentrations of both had more CV events (OR, 5.5; 95% CI, 1.8 to 17.5,
=0.004) than patients with low levels of both. A similar joint effect (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.3 to 5.7,
=0.01) was found for high levels of anti-hsp65 and presence of cytomegalovirus antibodies.
Serum antibodies to hsp65 were associated with subsequent CV events in this study of high-risk patients, independent of conventional cardiovascular risk factors and other inflammatory markers.