Vitamin K–Dependent Protein Activity and Incident Ischemic Cardiovascular Disease
The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis
Objective—Vitamin K–dependent proteins (VKDPs), which require post-translational modification to achieve biological activity, seem to contribute to thrombus formation, vascular calcification, and vessel stiffness. Whether VKDP activity is prospectively associated with incident cardiovascular disease has not been studied.
Approach and Results—VKDP activity was determined by measuring circulating des-γ-carboxy prothrombin concentrations in a random sample of 709 multiethnic adults free of cardiovascular disease drawn from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Lower des-γ-carboxy prothrombin concentrations reflect greater VKDP activity. Subjects were followed up for the risk of ischemic cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease, stroke, and fatal cardiovascular disease) for 11.0 years of follow-up. A total of 75 first ischemic CVD events occurred during follow-up. The incidence of ischemic cardiovascular disease increased progressively across des-γ-carboxy prothrombin quartiles, with event rates of 5.9 and 11.7 per 1000 person-years in the lowest and highest quartiles. In analyses adjusted for traditional cardiovascular risk factors and measures of vitamin K intake, a doubling of des-γ-carboxy prothrombin concentration was associated with a 1.53 (95% confidence interval, 1.09–2.13; P=0.008) higher risk of incident ischemic cardiovascular disease. The association was consistent across strata of participants with diabetes mellitus, hypertension, renal impairment, and low vitamin K nutritional intake.
Conclusions—In this sample of middle-aged and older adults, VKDP activity was associated with incident ischemic cardiovascular events. Further studies to understand the role of this large class of proteins in cardiovascular disease are warranted.
- Received January 26, 2016.
- Accepted March 14, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.