Anticardiolipin Antibodies as a Risk Factor of Atherosclerosis in Intermittent Claudication

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Anticardiolipin antibodies have been associated as a risk factor of atherosclerosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between anticardiolipin antibodies and intermittent claudication. Forty consecutive patients (33 men, 7 women; age range: 45-84 years, mean 65.5) who were seen in the angiology and vascular surgery department with intermittent claudication were evaluated. Exclusion criteria included prior revascularization, angioplasty, or a history of thrombosis of a lower limb. Forty individuals (23 men, 17 women; age range: 58-82 years, mean 67.1) who attended a support group for senior citizens and who were apparently healthy formed the control group. Anticardiolipin antibodies were evaluated by means of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for quantitative measurement of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM antibodies against cardiolipins in serum. IgG levels were considered normal when <7, borderline from 7 to 10, and elevated at >10 GPL units/mL; IgM levels were normal when <4, borderline from 4 to 7, and elevated at >7 MPL, as recommended by the test manufacturers. Statistical analysis used the relative risk test with a confidence interval of 95%. Twenty-three patients from the study group and 6 individuals from the control group were found to have elevated levels of anticardiolipin antibodies giving a relative risk of 3.833 (ranging from 1.749 to 8.4; p value <0.0001). In conclusion, patients who have elevated levels of anticardiolipin antibodies present a 3.8 times greater risk of developing intermittent claudication.

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