BACKGROUND: The identification of novel predictors of poor outcome may help stratify cardiovascular risk. Aim was to evaluate the individual contribution of blood cell count parameters, as well as their clustering, on the risk of death and cardiovascular events over the long term in the population-based Malmö Diet and Cancer Study cohort.
METHODS: In 30,447 individuals (age 57 ± 8 years), we assessed the incidence of all-cause death (primary endpoint) and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE, secondary outcome measure) according to absence or presence of one, two and three factors at baseline out of the following: anaemia, leukocytosis and thrombocytosis. Median follow-up was 16 years.
RESULTS: The percentages of all-cause death were 19.5% in individuals without factors, 21.3% in those with one factor, 27.4% with two and 46.4% with three (log-rank test P < .001). The crude incidence of MACE was 28.0%, 29.2%, 35.5% and 57.1%, respectively (log-rank test P < .001). At multivariate analysis, we found a stepwise increase in overall mortality with increasing number of prevalent factors (one factor: HR 1.23, 95% CI 1.14-1.31, P < .001; two factors: 1.61, 1.37-1.89, P < .001; three factors: 2.69, 1.44-5.01, P = .002, vs no factor). Similar findings were observed for the incidence of MACE (one factor: adjusted HR 1.18, 95% CI 1.11-1.24, P < .001; two factors: 1.52, 1.33-1.76, P < .001; three factors: 2.03, 1.21-3.67, P < .001, vs no factor).
CONCLUSIONS: The easily assessable clustering of anaemia, leukocytosis and thrombocytosis heralds higher incidence of death and adverse cardiovascular events.