Relationship of monocyte count and peripheral arterial disease: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002

Khurram Nasir, Eliseo Guallar, Ana Navas-Acien, Michael H. Criqui, João A.C. Lima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Background - Although white blood cell (WBC) count has been consistently associated with cardiovascular end points, little information is available on the independent contribution of specific white blood cell types. The objective of this study is to assess the independent association of WBC types and other inflammatory markers with the presence of reduced ankle-brachial blood pressure index (ABI), a marker of subclinical peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Methods & Results - Cross-sectional study in 3949 individuals ≥40 years of age without known cardiovascular disease who participated in the 1999 to 2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). PAD was defined as an ABI <0.9 in at least 1 leg. After adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, the odds ratios of PAD comparing the highest to the lowest quartiles were 2.24 (95% confidence interval 1.24 to 4.04) for monocytes, 1.74 (0.87 to 3.45) for neutrophils, 2.53 (1.62 to 3.96) for C-reactive protein, and 2.68 (1.03 to 6.94) for fibrinogen. When WBC types and inflammatory markers were simultaneously included in the full model, the corresponding odds ratios were 1.91 (95% confidence interval 1.06 to 3.42) for monocytes, 1.15 (0.49 to 2.69) for neutrophils, 1.37 (0.75 to 2.49) for C-reactive protein, and 2.21 (0.88 to 5.57) for fibrinogen. Conclusions - Monocytes were the only WBC type significantly and independently associated with PAD in a representative sample of the U.S. population after adjustment for other inflammatory markers. These findings reflect the potential role of circulating monocyte counts as markers of atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1966-1971
Number of pages6
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Monocyte count
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Subclinical atherosclerosis
  • White blood cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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