BACKGROUND: Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), a widely used tumor marker, has been reported to be related with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. However, little is known about the relationship between arterial stiffness and CEA level. We assessed whether serum CEA level is related with arterial stiffness by measuring brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (ba-PWV) in healthy subjects.
METHODS: Serum CEA level, ba-PWV and conventional risk factors were measured in 2909 subjects (1767 men and 1142 women) who underwent routine health checkup. We performed correlation, multiple linear regression and multiple logistic regression analyses to divide into quartiles according to CEA level.
RESULTS: The mean values of ba-PWV increased gradually by CEA quartile. After correcting for significantly correlated variables, the ba-PWV was independently associated with CEA (P<0.001). The odds ratios (95% CI) for high ba-PWV (>75th percentile; men: 1518 cm/s, women: 1487 cm/s) according to CEA quartile were 1.00 (Q1), 1.044 (0.659-1.652; Q2), 1.075 (0.688-1.681; Q3), and 1.595 (1.009-2.520; Q4) after adjusting for age, blood pressure, BMI, fasting glucose, heart rate, log hs-CRP, LDL-cholesterol, WBC count, alcohol intake, smoking and exercise in men (P<0.001). The odds ratios (95% CIs) in women were 1.00 (Q1), 1.719 (0.971-3.032; Q2), 1.793 (1.019-3.156; Q3), and 2.330 (1.312-4.139; Q4) (P<0.001) after adjusting for age, blood pressure, BMI, fasting glucose, heart rate, log hs-CRP, lipid profile, uric acid, WBC count, alcohol intake, smoking and exercise.
CONCLUSIONS: The CEA level is associated with arterial stiffness which measured by ba-PWV in healthy Korean men and women.