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Open Access Research article

Elevated serum neutrophil elastase is related to prehypertension and airflow limitation in obese women

Mervat M El-Eshmawy1, Eman H El-Adawy1*, Amany A Mousa1, Amany E Zeidan3, Azza A El-Baiomy2, Elham R Abdel-Samie2 and Omayma M Saleh1

Author Affiliations

1 Internal Medicine Department, Specialized Medical Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt

2 Clinical Pathology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt

3 Chest Department, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University Hospital, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt

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BMC Women's Health 2011, 11:1  doi:10.1186/1472-6874-11-1

Published: 19 January 2011

Abstract

Background

Neutrophil elastase level/activity is elevated in a variety of diseases such as atherosclerosis, systolic hypertension and obstructive pulmonary disease. It is unknown whether obese individuals with prehypertension also have elevated neutrophil elastase, and if so, whether it has a deleterious effect on pulmonary function. Objectives: To determine neutrophil elastase levels in obese prehypertensive women and investigate correlations with pulmonary function tests.

Methods

Thirty obese prehypertensive women were compared with 30 obese normotensive subjects and 30 healthy controls. The study groups were matched for age. Measurements: The following were determined: body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure, lipid profile, high sensitivity C-reactive protein, serum neutrophil elastase, and pulmonary function tests including forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC) and FEV1/FVC ratio.

Results

Serum neutrophil elastase concentration was significantly higher in both prehypertensive (405.8 ± 111.6 ng/ml) and normotensive (336.5 ± 81.5 ng/ml) obese women than in control non-obese women (243.9 ± 23.9 ng/ml); the level was significantly higher in the prehypertensive than the normotensive obese women. FEV1, FVC and FEV1/FVC ratio in both prehypertensive and normotensive obese women were significantly lower than in normal controls, but there was no statistically significant difference between the prehypertensive and normotensive obese women. In prehypertensive obese women, there were significant positive correlations between neutrophil elastase and body mass index, waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglyceride, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, high sensitivity C-reactive protein and negative correlations with high density lipoprotein cholesterol, FEV1, FVC and FEV1/FVC.

Conclusion

Neutrophil elastase concentration is elevated in obese prehypertensive women along with an increase in high sensitivity C-reactive protein which may account for dyslipidemia and airflow dysfunction in the present study population.