Classical Pathway of Complement Activation: Longitudinal Associations of C1q and C1-INH With Cardiovascular Outcomes: The CODAM Study (Cohort on Diabetes and Atherosclerosis Maastricht)Brief Report

Elisabeth Hertle, Ilja C. W. Arts, Carla J. H. van der Kallen, Edith J. M. Feskens, Casper G. Schalkwijk, Coen D. A. Stehouwer, Marleen M. J. van Greevenbroek*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objective The classical complement pathway has been assigned both protective and pathological effects in cardiovascular disease (CVD), but human data are lacking. We determined the associations of the pattern recognition factor C1q and the regulator C1-INH (C1-inhibitor) with incident CVD, carotid intima-media thickness, endothelial dysfunction, and low-grade inflammation. Approach and Results Baseline concentrations of C1q and C1-INH were measured in the CODAM study (Cohort on Diabetes and Atherosclerosis Maastricht; n=574; 61% men; age, 607 years). The 7-year incidence of CVD in participants free of CVD at baseline was evaluated using logistic regression analyses (n=342; 73 cases). The lowest incidence of CVD was observed in the middle tertile of C1q (T-low compared with T-middle: odds ratio, 2.38 [95% confidence interval, 1.14-4.95]; T-high compared with T-middle: odds ratio, 1.96 [95% confidence interval, 0.94-4.07]). C1-INH was not associated with CVD. During the 7-year follow-up period, C1q and C1-INH were not, or inconsistently, associated with carotid intima-media thickness or with biomarker scores reflecting endothelial dysfunction and low-grade inflammation. Conclusions Our results suggest a nonlinear association between C1q and incident CVD. This supports the concept that early steps in classical pathway activation may have both protective and pathological effects on human CVD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1242-1244
Number of pages3
JournalArteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • cardiovascular diseases
  • carotid intima-media thickness
  • follow-up studies
  • humans
  • incidence
  • MBL
  • RISK

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