Background: Inflammatory gene polymorphisms are potentially associated with atherosclerosis risk, but their age- related effects are unclear. To investigate the age-related effects of inflammatory gene polymorphisms on arterial stiffness, we conducted cross-sectional and 5-year follow-up studies using the cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) as a surrogate marker of arterial stiffness. Methods: We recruited 1850 adults aged 34 to 69 years from the Japanese general population. Inflammatory gene polymorphisms were selected from NF-kB1, CD14, IL-6, IL-10, MCP-1, ICAM-1, and TNF-a. Associations of CAVI with genetic and conventional risk factors were estimated by sex and age group (34-49, 50-59, and 60-69 years) using a general linear model. The association with 5-year change in CAVI was examined longitudinally. Results: Glucose intolerance was associated with high CAVI among women in all age groups, while hypertension was associated with high CAVI among participants in all age groups, except younger women. Mean CAVI for the CD14 CC genotype was lower than those for the TT and CT genotypes (P for trend = 0.005), while the CD14 polymorphism was associated with CAVI only among men aged 34 to 49 years (P = 0.006). No association of the other 6 polymorphisms with CAVI was observed. No association with 5-year change in CAVI was apparent. Conclusions: Inflammatory gene polymorphisms were not associated with arterial stiffness. To confirm these results, further large-scale prospective studies are warranted.
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