Date of Award

Spring 5-2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

Field of Study

Primary Care Clinical Research


Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Kimberly Fulda


Cardiovascular disease is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in autoimmune patients. This study strives to: 1) determine if autoimmune disease is associated with a coronary calcium score (CAC) > 0; 2) determine if autoimmune disease is associated with interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP), and fibrinogen levels; and 3) determine if Il-6, CRP, and fibrinogen mediate the relationship between autoimmune disease and CAC. This is a crosssectional study using data obtained from the North Texas Healthy Heart study. Autoimmune disease was present in 118 individuals. Autoimmune status was not significant in predicting presence of CAC > 0, IL-6, or CRP levels in the adjusted model. Autoimmune status, however, was a significant predictor of fibrinogen levels. IL-6, CRP, and fibrinogen did not act as mediators as there was not a significant change in the association between autoimmune status and CAC when these inflammatory markers were added to the model.