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Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a pleiotropic cytokine that is produced by leukocytes, endothelial cells, and many other cell types. IL-6 is a secreted glycoprotein that binds to gp130 and gp80 (IL-6r) complex and is thought to regulate production of other acute phase reactants by the liver. IL-6 has also been noted to be induced by ischemia/reperfusion injury. Levels of IL-6 were associated with increased cardiovascular risk in the Women's Health Study. The levels of IL-6 were increased in women with cardiovascular events, and the odds ratio for women in the fourth quartile of IL-6 was 2.2 (confidence interval 1.14.3). Even women with median levels of total cholesterol appeared to have some increased risk if they had high levels of IL-6. However, IL-6 was not an independent predictor after adjustment for other cardiovascular risk factors in this study.

Reference:
Ridker PM, Hennekens CH, Buring JE, Rifai N. C-reactive protein and other markers of inflammation in the prediction of cardiovascular disease in women. N Engl J Med 2000;342:836-843.
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