Neutrophil count helps pinpoint heart disease risk

A high peripheral neutrophil count is a useful predictor of CVD risk in postmenopausal women.

Obstet Gynecol. 2010;115:695-703. [April 2010]

A high peripheral neutrophil count is a useful predictor of cardiovascular disease risk in postmenopausal women with hypertension, according to researchers at Hospital S. Maria della Misericordia in Perugia, Italy. They conducted a study of 298 postmenopausal women diagnosed with hypertension with a mean age of 59 years, of whom 9.1 percent had diabetes and 17.5 percent were smokers. The women were subsequently treated for hypertension and followed up for a mean of eight years. There were 31 new major cardiovascular events during the follow-up period; the risk of a cardiovascular event was associated with age, diabetes, serum creatinine, blood pressure, left ventricular hypertrophy, and neutrophil count, the researchers found. After adjusting for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, the data showed that neutrophil count was a useful predictor of cardiovascular events. The association with higher cardiovascular disease risk appears to be independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors.