Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a complex polygenic disease associated with chronic inflammation, accelerated atherosclerosis and increased cardiovascular (CV) mortality. A recent meta-analysis has described the ZC3HC1 rs11556924 polymorphism as one of the most important signals associated with coronary artery disease (CAD) in non-rheumatic Caucasian individuals. In this study we evaluated the potential association of this gene polymorphism with subclinical atherosclerosis assessed by the evaluation of carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) in RA patients.
This study included 502 RA patients from Northern Spain. The ZC3HC1 rs11556924 polymorphism was genotyped with TaqMan single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping assays (C__31283062_10) in a 7900HT real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) system. cIMT was also assessed in these patients by carotid ultrasonography (US) technology.
RA patients carrying the TT genotype had significantly higher cIMT values than those homozygous for the CC genotype (mean ± standard deviation (SD): 0.76 ± 0.18 mm and mean ± SD: 0.71 ± 0.16 mm respectively; P = 0.03) even after adjusting the results for sex, age at the time of US study, follow-up time and traditional CV risk factors (P = 0.04) evidencing that the effect conferred by ZC3HC1 rs11556924 polymorphism is independent of the traditional CV risk factors.