This study aimed to distinguish the circulating HMGB1 (high-mobility group box-1) levels, i.e., one of the damage-associated molecular patterns, with respect to race, sex, and age in the extensive population. Along with the inspection of the longitudinal associations of HMGB1 with preclinical markers of CVD,  obesity, as well as inflammatory markers.

These analyses included 489 participants in total (among which 50% Blacks, with median age 24.6 years) with up to 4 follow-up visits over a period of 8.5 years. Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, diastolic and systolic blood pressure, and the carotid intima-media thickness together with plasma HMGB1, TNF-α, IL-10, IL-6, IFN-γ, and hs-CRP were measured at each visit.  At the baseline, plasma HMGB1 concentrations were higher in Blacks than in Whites and in females as compared to  males. The HMGB1 concentrations increased with higher levels of obesity measures and age. After covariate adjustments, the associations of HMGB1 with hs-CRP and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity remained statistically significant.

In conclusion, the longitudinal associations of circulating HMGB1 levels with preclinical CVD phenotypes, proinflammatory cytokines, and obesity  in a cohort of black and white races were assessed. Sex and racial differences in these correlation are conspicuous. These associations might validate themerit of circulating HMGB1 as a clinical biomarker and develop anti-HMGB1 antagonists or antibodies in therapeutics for the targeted treatment, management, and prevention of chronic inflammation.