Many long-term prospective studies have reported on associations of cardiovascular diseases with circulating lipid markers and/or inflammatory markers. Studies have not, however, generally been designed to provide reliable estimates under different circumstances and to correct for within-person variability.
The Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration (ERFC) has established a central database on over 2 million participants from >125 prospective population-based studies, in which subsets have information on lipid and inflammatory markers, other established risk factors and characteristics, as well as major cardiovascular morbidity and cause-specific mortality. Information on repeat measurements on relevant characteristics has been collected in over 300,000 participants to enable estimation of and adjustment for within-person variability. Re-analysis of individual data will yield up to approximately 100,000 incident fatal or first ever major cardiovascular outcomes recorded during about 15 million person years at risk.
The primary analyses will involve age-specific regression models in people without known baseline cardiovascular disease in relation to fatal or first ever coronary heart disease outcomes. This initiative will characterize more precisely and in greater detail than has previously been possible the shape and strength of the age- and sex-specific associations of several lipid and inflammatory markers with incident coronary heart disease outcomes (and, secondarily, with other incident cardiovascular outcomes) under a wide range of circumstances.
It will, therefore, help to determine to what extent such associations are independent from possible confounding factors and to what extent such markers (separately and in combination) provide incremental predictive value.