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1.  Glucose and triglyceride excursions following a standardized meal in individuals with diabetes: ELSA-Brasil study 
To assess glucose and triglyceride excursions 2 hours after the ingestion of a standardized meal and their associations with clinical characteristics and cardiovascular complications in individuals with diabetes.
Research design and methods
Blood samples of 898 subjects with diabetes were collected at fasting and 2 hours after a meal containing 455 kcal, 14 g of saturated fat and 47 g of carbohydrates. Self-reported morbidity, socio-demographic characteristics and clinical measures were obtained by interview and exams performed at the baseline visit of the ELSA-Brasil cohort study.
Median (interquartile range, IQR) for fasting glucose was 150.5 (123–198) mg/dL and for fasting triglycerides 140 (103–199) mg/dL. The median excursion for glucose was 45 (15–76) mg/dL and for triglycerides 26 (11–45) mg/dL. In multiple linear regression, a greater glucose excursion was associated with higher glycated hemoglobin (10.7, 95% CI 9.1–12.3 mg/dL), duration of diabetes (4.5; 2.6–6.4 mg/dL, per 5 year increase), insulin use (44.4; 31.7–57.1 mg/dL), and age (6.1; 2.5–9.6 mg/dL, per 10 year increase); and with lower body mass index (−5.6; −8.4– -2.8 mg/dL, per 5 kg/m2 increase). In adjusted logistic regression models, a greater glucose excursion was marginally associated with the presence of cardiovascular comorbidities (coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction and angina) in those with obesity.
A greater postprandial glycemic response to a small meal was positively associated with indicators of a decreased capacity for insulin secretion and negatively associated with obesity. No pattern of response was observed with a greater postprandial triglyceride excursion.
PMCID: PMC4329202
2.  Cardiac structure and function are altered in type 2 diabetes and Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and associate with glycemic control 
Both non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and Type 2 diabetes increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The metabolic processes underlying NAFLD and Type 2 diabetes are part of an integrated mechanism but little is known about how these conditions may differentially affect the heart. We compared the impact of NAFLD and Type 2 diabetes on cardiac structure, function and metabolism.
19 adults with Type 2 diabetes (62 ± 8 years), 19 adults with NAFLD (54 ± 15 years) and 19 healthy controls (56 ± 14 years) underwent assessment of cardiac structure, function and metabolism using high resolution magnetic resonance imaging, tagging and spectroscopy at 3.0 T.
Adults with NAFLD and Type 2 diabetes demonstrate concentric remodelling with an elevated eccentricity ratio compared to controls (1.05 ± 0.3 vs. 1.12 ± 0.2 vs. 0.89 ± 0.2 g/ml; p < 0.05). Despite this, only the Type 2 diabetes group demonstrate significant systolic and diastolic dysfunction evidenced by a reduced stroke index (31 ± 7vs. controls, 38 ± 10, p < 0.05 ml/m2) and reduced E/A (0.9 ± 0.4 vs. controls, 1.9 ± 1.4, p < 0.05) respectively. The torsion to shortening ratio was higher in Type 2 diabetes compared to NAFLD (0.58 ± 0.16 vs. 0.44 ± 0.13; p < 0.05). Significant associations were observed between fasting blood glucose/HbA1c and diastolic parameters as well as the torsion to shortening ratio (all p < 0.05). Phosphocreatine/adenosine triphosphate ratio was not altered in NAFLD or Type 2 diabetes compared to controls.
Changes in cardiac structure are evident in adults with Type 2 diabetes and NAFLD without overt cardiac disease and without changes in cardiac energy metabolism. Only the Type 2 diabetes group display diastolic and subendocardial dysfunction and glycemic control may be a key mediator of these cardiac changes. Therapies should be explored to target these preclinical cardiac changes to modify cardiovascular risk associated with Type 2 diabetes and NAFLD.
PMCID: PMC4330943
Type 2 diabetes; Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Cardiac disease
3.  Role of adiponectin and free fatty acids on the association between abdominal visceral fat and insulin resistance 
Experimental studies have shown that high free fatty acid (FFA) and low adiponectin (ADIPO) levels are involved in the mechanisms by which adiposity promotes insulin resistance (IR). However, no previous clinical studies have simultaneously analysed the relative contribution of FFA and ADIPO levels on the relation of abdominal visceral fat (AVF) with insulin resistance.
To analyse the contribution of low ADIPO (adiponectin < =p25th: 8.67 μg/mL in women and 5.30 μg/mL in men), and high FFAs (FFAs > =p75th: 0.745 mEq/L in women and 0.60 mEq/L in men) to the association of high AVF (AVF > =p75th: 127 cm2 in women; 152.7 cm2 in men) with insulin resistance (HOMA-IR > =75th: 3.58 in women and 3.12 in men), in non-diabetic subjects.
Material and methods
A cross-sectional analysis was performed including 1217 control participants of the Genetics of Atherosclerotic Disease study (GEA). Clinical, tomographic and biochemical parameters were measured in all participants. Logistic regression models were used to assess the association of high AVF with IR stratifying according to gender, and to normal or low ADIPO and normal or high FFA serum levels.
In comparison to referent group, in men low ADIPO unlike high FFA increased the risk of IR. Females with normal AVF and low ADIPO, or high AVF and normal ADIPO had aprox 3 folds risk of IR (OR [IC95%]: 3.7 [2.1-6.6], p < 0.001, and 3.4 [2.0-5.7], p < 0.001; respectively). The risk increased to 7.6 [4.2-13.8], p < 0.001 when high AVF and low ADIPO were present. Irrespective of AVF, the effect of low ADIPO on IR was higher than that seen for high FFA. Besides, our results suggest an additive effect of high AVF, high FFA and low ADIPO on the IR prevalence.
The present study provides novel and important information about the combined effect of high AVF and low ADIPO on the risk of IR. Furthermore, our data suggest that the effect of low adiponectin levels on the high AVF-IR association is stronger than that observed for high FFA, suggesting that adiponectin could be used as biomarker to identify subjects at high risk for T2DM and CAD.
PMCID: PMC4332423
Adiponectin; Free fatty acids; Visceral fat; Insulin resistance
4.  Liraglutide attenuates high glucose-induced abnormal cell migration, proliferation, and apoptosis of vascular smooth muscle cells by activating the GLP-1 receptor, and inhibiting ERK1/2 and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways 
As a new anti-diabetic medicine, Liraglutide (LIRA), one of GLP-1 analogues, has been found to have an anti-atherosclerotic effect. Since vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) play pivotal roles in the occurrence of diabetic atherosclerosis, it is important to investigate the role of LIRA in reducing the harmful effects of high-glucose (HG) treatment in cultured VSMCs, and identifying associated molecular mechanisms.
Primary rat VSMCs were exposed to low or high glucose-containing medium with or without LIRA. They were challenged with HG in the presence of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2, or glucagon-like peptide receptor (GLP-1R) inhibitors. Cell proliferation and viability was evaluated using a Cell Counting Kit-8. Cell migration was determined by Transwell migration and scratch wound assays. Flow cytometry and Western blotting were used to determine apoptosis and protein expression, respectively.
Under the HG treatment, VSMCs exhibited increased migration, proliferation, and phosphorylation of protein kinase B (Akt) and ERK1/2, along with reduced apoptosis (all p < 0.01 vs. control). These effects were significantly attenuated with LIRA co-treatment (all p < 0.05 vs. HG alone). Inhibition of PI3K kinase and ERK1/2 similarly attenuated the HG-induced effects (all p < 0.01 vs. HG alone). GLP-1R inhibitors effectively reversed the beneficial effects of LIRA on HG treatment (all p < 0.05).
HG treatment may induce abnormal phenotypes in VSMCs via PI3K and ERK1/2 signaling pathways activated by GLP-1R, and LIRA may protect cells from HG damage by acting on these same pathways.
PMCID: PMC4327797
Akt; ERK1/2; Glucagon-like peptide receptor; High glucose; Liraglutide; Vascular smooth muscle cells
5.  Targeting metabolic disturbance in the diabetic heart 
Diabetic cardiomyopathy is defined as ventricular dysfunction initiated by alterations in cardiac energy substrates in the absence of coronary artery disease and hypertension. In addition to the demonstrated burden of cardiovascular events associated with diabetes, diabetic cardiomyopathy partly explains why diabetic patients are subject to a greater risk of heart failure and a worse outcome after myocardial ischemia. The raising prevalence and accumulating costs of cardiovascular disease in diabetic patients underscore the deficiencies of tertiary prevention and call for a shift in medical treatment. It is becoming increasingly clearer that the effective prevention and treatment of diabetic cardiomyopathy require measures to regulate the metabolic derangement occurring in the heart rather than merely restoring suitable systemic parameters. Recent research has provided deeper insight into the metabolic etiology of diabetic cardiomyopathy and numerous heart-specific targets that may substitute or reinforce current strategies. From both experimental and translational perspectives, in this review we first discuss the progress made with conventional therapies, and then focus on the need for prospective metabolic targets that may avert myocardial vulnerability and functional decline in next-generation diabetic care.
PMCID: PMC4328972
Diabetic cardiomyopathy; Metformin; Dipeptidyl peptidase-4; Glucagon-like protein-1; Advanced glycation end-products; Statins; Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor agonists; Fatty acid translocase/cluster of differentiation-36; Toll-like receptor-4; Nod-like receptor-3
6.  Inhibition of protein kinase C enhances angiogenesis induced by platelet-derived growth factor C in hyperglycemic endothelial cells 
Diabetes is a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases with impaired angiogenesis. We have previously shown that platelet-derived growth factor C (PDGF-C) and its receptor, PDGF receptor α (PDGFR-α) were downregulated in ischemic limbs of diabetic mice, although the underlying mechanisms remained elusive. Protein kinase C (PKC) is a family of serine/threonine kinases and is known to be involved in angiogenesis. The purpose of this study is to elucidate the mechanisms of how PDGF-C/PDGFR-α axis is impaired in diabetes.
Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and human cardiac microvascular endothelial cells (HMVECs) cultured in normoglycemic or hyperglycemic conditions were examined. We also examined the effects of PKC inhibition on the PDGF-C/PDGFR-α axis in endothelial cells exposed to hyperglycemia.
Hyperglycemia inhibited proliferation and decreased viability of both HUVECs and HMVECs. Hyperglycemic endothelial cells exhibited decreased PDGFR-α expression both at messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels, while there was no significant change in expression of PDGF-C. We also found that expression of PKC-α, one of the PKC isoforms, was increased in hyperglycemic endothelial cells and that inhibition of PKC upregulated PDGFR-α expression in these cells. Phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and Akt induced by PDGF-C was significantly attenuated in hyperglycemic endothelial cells, whereas inhibition of PKC effectively reversed these inhibitory effects. Moreover, inhibition of PKC also promoted angiogenesis induced by PDGF-C in hyperglycemic endothelial cells, which was not observed in vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A)-induced angiogenesis.
These findings suggest that downregulation of the PDGF-C/PDGFR-α axis is involved in impaired angiogenesis of hyperglycemia through upregulation of PKC. Targeting PKC to restore PDGF-C signaling might be a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of vascular complications in diabetes.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12933-015-0180-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4334399
Platelet-derived growth factor C (PDGF-C); Diabetes; Therapeutic angiogenesis; Protein kinase C (PKC); Hyperglycemia; Endothelial cells
7.  Glycated albumin is more closely correlated with coronary artery disease than 1,5-anhydroglucitol and glycated hemoglobin A1c 
The aim of this study was to investigate the associations of two nontraditional glycemic markers, glycated albumin (GA) and 1,5-anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG), as well as glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) with coronary artery disease (CAD).
In total, 272 subjects (178 men and 94 postmenopausal women) were enrolled in this study. All of them underwent coronary angiography which was used to diagnose CAD. The severity of coronary artery stenosis was assessed by the coronary stenosis index (CSI). GA and 1,5-AG were assayed using the enzymatic method, and HbA1c was detected by high-pressure liquid chromatography.
The HbA1c and GA levels were significantly higher in CAD group than those in non-CAD group (both P < 0.01). While the 1,5-AG level was significantly lower in CAD group than that in non-CAD group (P < 0.05). After adjustment for traditional risk factors of CAD, HbA1c, 1,5-AG, and GA, multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that GA was an independent risk factor for CAD (odds ratio = 1.143, 95% confidence interval: 1.048-1.247, P = 0.002). With CSI as a dependent variable, multiple stepwise regression analysis demonstrated an independent positive correlation between GA and CSI (standardized β = 0.184, P = 0.003), beyond gender, age, and lipid-lowering therapy, after adjustment for traditional risk factors of CAD, HbA1c, 1,5-AG, and GA.
GA was more closely correlated with CAD than HbA1c and 1,5-AG in a Chinese population with high risk of CAD.
PMCID: PMC4334610
Coronary artery disease; Coronary angiography; Glycated albumin; Glycated hemoglobin A1c; 1,5-anhydroglucitol
8.  A real world comparison of sulfonylurea and insulin vs. incretin-based treatments in patients not controlled on prior metformin monotherapy 
Metformin is the first line drug for patients diagnosed with type-2 diabetes; however, the impact of different treatment escalation strategies after metformin failure has thus far not been investigated in a real world situation. The registry described herein goes some way to clarifying treatment outcomes in such patients.
DiaRegis is a multicentre registry including 3,810 patients with type-2 diabetes. For the present analysis we selected patients being treated with metformin monotherapy at baseline (n = 1,373), with the subsequent addition of incretin-based drugs (Met/Incr; n = 783), sulfonylureas (Met/SU; n = 255), or insulin (n = 220).
After two years 1,110 of the initial 1,373 patients had a complete follow-up (80.8%) and 726 of these were still on the initial treatment combination (65.4%). After treatment escalation, compared to Met/Incr (n = 421), Met/SU (n = 154) therapy resulted in a higher HbA1c reduction vs. baseline (−0.6 ± 1.4% vs. −0.5 ± 1.0%; p = 0.039). Insulin (n = 151) resulted in a stronger reduction in HbA1c (−0.9 ± 2.0% vs. −0.5 ± 1.0%; p = 0.003), and fasting plasma glucose (−24 ± 70 mg/dl vs. −19 ± 42 mg/dl; p = 0.001), but was associated with increased bodyweight (0.8 ± 9.0 kg vs. −1.5 ± 5.0 kg; p = 0.028). Hypoglycaemia rates (any with or without help and symptoms) were higher for patients receiving insulin (Odds Ratio [OR] 8.35; 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 4.84-14.4) and Met/SU (OR 2.70; 95% CI 1.48-4.92) versus Met/Incr. While there was little difference in event rates between Met/Incr and Met/SU, insulin was associated with higher rates of death, major cardiac and cerebrovascular events, and microvascular disease.
Taking the results of DiaRegis into consideration it can be concluded that incretin-based treatment strategies appear to have a favourable balance between glycemic control and treatment emergent adverse effects.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12933-015-0172-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4324641  PMID: 25645672
Diabetes; Strategies; Oral antidiabetic drugs; Insulin; Outcomes; Glucose; Effectiveness
9.  The effect of clopidogrel on platelet activity in patients with and without type-2 diabetes mellitus: a comparative study 
Although antiplatelet therapy involving clopidogrel is a standard treatment for preventing cardiovascular events after coronary stent implantation, patients can display differential responses. Here, we assessed the effectiveness of clopidogrel on platelet function inhibition in subjects with and without type-2 diabetes and stable coronary artery disease. In addition, we investigated the correlation between platelet function and routine clinical parameters.
A total of 64 patients with stable coronary heart disease were enrolled in the study. Among these, 32 had known type-2 diabetes, whereas the remaining 32 subjects were non-diabetics (control group). A loading dose of 300 mg clopidogrel was given to clopidogrel-naïve patients (13 patients in the diabetes group and 14 control patients). All patients were given a daily maintenance dose of 75 mg clopidogrel. In addition, all patients received 100 mg ASA per day. Agonist-induced platelet aggregation measurements were performed on hirudin-anticoagulated blood using an impedance aggregometer (Multiple Platelet Function Analyzer, Dynabyte, Munich, Germany). Blood samples were drawn from the antecubital vein 24 h after coronary angiography with percutaneous coronary intervention. The platelets were then stimulated with ADP alone or ADP and prostaglandin-E (ADP and ADP-PGE tests, respectively) in order to evaluate clopidogrel-mediated inhibition of platelet function. The effectiveness of ASA was measured by stimulation with arachidonic acid (ASPI test). In addition, maximal platelet aggregation was assessed via stimulation with thrombin receptor-activating peptide (TRAP test).
Patients with diabetes exhibited significantly less inhibition of platelet function than patients without diabetes (ADP-PGE test p = 0.003; ASPI test p = 0.022). Administering a clopidogrel loading dose of 300 mg did not result in a lower level of ADP-PGE-induced platelet reactivity in comparison to the use of a 75 mg maintenance dose. Moreover, we observed that ADP-PGE-induced platelet inhibition was positively correlated with fasting blood glucose and HbA1c (p < 0.01).
Patients with type-2 diabetes exhibited increased platelet reactivity compared to patients without diabetes despite combined treatment with clopidogrel and ASA. Using a loading dose of clopidogrel rather than small daily doses was not sufficient for adequately overcoming increased platelet reactivity in patients with type-2 diabetes, highlighting the need for more effective anti-platelet drugs for such patients.
PMCID: PMC4324649  PMID: 25645908
Clopidogrel; Diabetes; Platelet function; Ccoronary heart disease; Percutaneous coronary intervention
10.  Association among weight change, glycemic control, and markers of cardiovascular risk with exenatide once weekly: a pooled analysis of patients with type 2 diabetes 
Overweight or obesity contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and increases cardiovascular risk. Exenatide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist, significantly reduces glycated hemoglobin (A1C) and body weight and improves cardiovascular risk markers in patients with T2DM. As weight loss alone has been shown to reduce A1C and cardiovascular risk markers, this analysis explored whether weight loss contributed importantly to clinical responses to exenatide once weekly.
A pooled analysis from eight studies of exenatide once weekly was conducted. Patients were distributed into quartiles from greatest weight loss (Quartile 1) to least loss or gain (Quartile 4). Parameters evaluated for each quartile included A1C, fasting plasma glucose (FPG), blood pressure (BP), heart rate, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), total cholesterol, triglycerides, and the liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST).
The median changes from baseline in body weight in Quartiles 1–4 were −6.0, –3.0, −1.0, and +1.0 kg, respectively. All quartiles had reductions in A1C (median changes −1.6, −1.4, −1.1, and −1.2%, respectively) and FPG (−41, −40, −31, and −25 mg/dL, respectively), with the greatest decreases in Quartiles 1 and 2. Most cardiovascular risk markers (except diastolic BP) and liver enzymes improved in Quartiles 1 through 3 and were relatively unchanged in Quartile 4. Higher rates of gastrointestinal adverse events and hypoglycemia were observed in Quartile 1 compared with Quartiles 2 through 4.
Exenatide once weekly improved glycemic parameters independent of weight change, although the magnitude of improvement increased with increasing weight loss. The greatest trend of improvement in glycemic parameters, cardiovascular risk factors including systolic BP, LDL-C, total cholesterol, and triglycerides, and in liver enzymes, was seen in the patient quartiles with the greatest reductions in body weight.
PMCID: PMC4324846  PMID: 25645567
Exenatide; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Hyperglycemia; Weight response; Cardiovascular risk; Biomarkers
12.  The association of the treatment with glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist exenatide or insulin with cardiovascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes: a retrospective observational study 
To evaluate the association of treatment with glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist exenatide and/or insulin on macrovascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM).
We conducted a retrospective longitudinal pharmaco-epidemiological study using large ambulatory care data to evaluate the risks of heart failure (HF), myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke in established T2DM patients who received a first prescription of exenatide twice daily (EBID) or insulin between June 2005 and May 2009, with follow-up data available until December 2012. Three treatment groups were: EBID with oral antidiabetes drugs (OADs) (EBID, n = 2804), insulin with OADs (Insulin, n = 28551), and those who changed medications between EBID and insulin or had combination of EBID and insulin during follow-up, along with OADs (EBID + insulin, n = 7870).
Multivariate Cox-regression models were used to evaluate the association of treatment groups with the risks of macrovascular events.
During a median 3.5 years of follow-up, cardiovascular event rates per 1000 person-years were significantly lower for the EBID and EBID + insulin groups compared to the insulin group (HF: 4.4 and 6.1 vs. 17.9; MI: 1.1 and 1.2 vs. 2.5; stroke: 2.4 and 1.8 vs. 6.1). Patients in the EBID/EBID + insulin group had significantly reduced risk of HF, MI and stroke by 61/56%, 50/38% and 52/63% respectively, compared to patients in the insulin group (p < 0.01).
Treatment with exenatide, with or without concomitant insulin was associated with reduced macrovascular risks compared to insulin; although inherent potential bias in epidemiological studies should be considered.
PMCID: PMC4314769  PMID: 25616979
Exenatide; Insulin; Macrovascular outcomes; Type 2 diabetes; Pharmaco-epidemiology
13.  Cardio-ankle vascular index is associated with cardiovascular target organ damage and vascular structure and function in patients with diabetes or metabolic syndrome, LOD-DIABETES study: a case series report 
The cardio ankle vascular index (CAVI) is a new index of the overall stiffness of the artery from the origin of the aorta to the ankle. This index can estimate the risk of atherosclerosis. We aimed to find the relationship between CAVI and target organ damage (TOD), vascular structure and function, and cardiovascular risk factors in Caucasian patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus or metabolic syndrome.
We included 110 subjects from the LOD-Diabetes study, whose mean age was 61 ± 11 years, and 37.3% were women. Measurements of CAVI, brachial ankle pulse wave velocity (ba-PWV), and ankle brachial index (ABI) were taken using the VaSera device. Cardiovascular risk factors, renal function by creatinine, glomerular filtration rate, and albumin creatinine index were also obtained, as well as cardiac TOD with ECG and vascular TOD and carotid intima media thickness (IMT), carotid femoral PWV (cf-PWV), and the central and peripheral augmentation index (CAIx and PAIx). The Framingham-D’Agostino scale was used to measure cardiovascular risk.
Mean CAVI was 8.7 ± 1.3. More than half (54%) of the participants showed one or more TOD (10% cardiac, 13% renal; 48% vascular), and 13% had ba-PWV ≥ 17.5 m/s. Patients with any TOD had the highest CAVI values: 1.15 (CI 95% 0.70 to 1.61, p < 0.001) and 1.14 (CI 95% 0.68 to 1.60, p < 0.001) when vascular TOD was presented, and 1.30 (CI 95% 0.51 to 2.10, p = 0.002) for the cardiac TOD. The CAVI values had a positive correlation with HbA1c and systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and a negative correlation with waist circumference and body mass index. The positive correlations of CAVI with IMT (β = 0.29; p < 0.01), cf-PWV (β = 0.83; p < 0.01), ba-PWV (β = 2.12; p < 0.01), CAIx (β = 3.42; p < 0.01), and PAIx (β = 5.05; p = 0.04) remained after adjustment for cardiovascular risk, body mass index, and antihypertensive, lipid-lowering, and antidiabetic drugs.
The results of this study suggest that the CAVI is positively associated with IMT, cf-PWV, ba-PWV, CAIx, and PAIx, regardless of cardiovascular risk and the drug treatment used. Patients with cardiovascular TOD have higher values of CAVI.
Trial registration
Clinical Identifier: NCT01065155
PMCID: PMC4299688
Target organ damage; Cardio ankle vascular index; Vascular structure; Vascular function; Cardiovascular risk; Diabetes mellitus type 2; Metabolic syndrome
14.  Involvement of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors in cardiac and vascular remodeling in a novel minipig model of insulin resistance and atherosclerosis induced by consumption of a high-fat/cholesterol diet 
A long-term high-fat/cholesterol (HFC) diet leads to insulin resistance (IR), which is associated with inflammation, atherosclerosis (AS), cardiac sympathovagal imbalance, and cardiac dysfunction. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) and nuclear factor ĸB (NF-κB) are involved in the development of IR-AS. Thus, we elucidated the pathological molecular mechanism of IR-AS by feeding an HFC diet to Tibetan minipigs to induce IR and AS.
Male Tibetan minipigs were fed either a normal diet or an HFC diet for 24 weeks. Thereafter, the minipigs were tested for physiological and biochemical blood indices, blood pressure, cardiac function, glucose tolerance, heart rate variability (HRV), and PPAR-associated gene and protein expression levels.
HFC-fed minipigs exhibited IR through increased body weight, fasting blood glucose levels, plasma cholesterol and its composition, and insulin and free fatty acid (FFA) levels; decreased insulin sensitivity; impaired glucose tolerance; and hypertension. Increased C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, cardiac dysfunction, depressed HRV, and the up-regulation of PPAR expression in the abdominal aorta concomitant with down-regulation in the heart tissue were observed in HFC-fed minipigs. Furthermore, the levels of NF-κBp65, IL-1β, TNF-α, MCP-1, VCAM-1, ICAM-1, MMP-9, and CRP proteins were also significantly increased.
These data suggest that HFC-fed Tibetan minipigs develop IR and AS and that PPARs are involved in cardiovascular remodeling and impaired function.
PMCID: PMC4300051  PMID: 25592139
Tibetan minipig; Insulin resistance; Atherosclerosis; Myocardial ischemia; PPARs; NF-ĸB; High-fat/cholesterol diet; Heart rate variability
15.  Systemic arteriosclerosis and eating behavior in Japanese type 2 diabetic patients with visceral fat accumulation 
Visceral fat accumulation is a major etiological factor in the progression of type 2 diabetes mellitus and atherosclerosis. We described previously visceral fat accumulation and multiple cardiovascular risk factors in a considerable number of Japanese non-obese subjects (BMI <25 kg/m2). Here, we investigated differences in systemic arteriosclerosis, serum adiponectin concentration, and eating behavior in type 2 diabetic patients with and without visceral fat accumulation.
The study subjects were 75 Japanese type 2 diabetes mellitus (age: 64.8 ± 11.5 years, mean ± SD). Visceral fat accumulation represented an estimated visceral fat area of 100 cm2 using the bioelectrical impedance analysis method. Subjects were divided into two groups; with (n = 53) and without (n = 22) visceral fat accumulation. Systemic arteriosclerosis was scored for four arteries by ultrasonography. Eating behavior was assessed based on The Guideline for Obesity questionnaire issued by the Japan Society for the Study of Obesity.
The visceral fat accumulation (+) group showed significantly higher systemic vascular scores and significantly lower serum adiponectin levels than the visceral fat accumulation (−) group. With respect to the eating behavior questionnaire items, (+) patients showed higher values for the total score and many of the major sub-scores than (−) patients.
Type 2 diabetic patients with visceral fat accumulation showed 1) progression of systemic arteriosclerosis, 2) low serum adiponectin levels, and 3) differences in eating behavior, compared to those without visceral fat accumulation. Taken together, the findings highlight the importance of evaluating visceral fat area in type 2 diabetic patients. Furthermore, those with visceral fat accumulation might need to undergo more intensive screening for systemic arteriosclerosis and consider modifying their eating behaviors.
PMCID: PMC4301666  PMID: 25592402
Type 2 diabetes; Visceral fat accumulation; Adiponectin; Systemic arteriosclerosis; Vascular ultrasonography; Eating behavior
16.  Body weight and risk of atrial fibrillation in 7,169 patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes; an observational study 
Obesity, type 2 diabetes and atrial fibrillation (AF) are closely associated, but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. We aimed to explore associations between body mass index (BMI) or weight change with risk of AF in patients with type 2 diabetes.
A total of 7,169 participations with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes were stratified according to baseline BMI, and after a second BMI measurement within 18 months, further grouped according to relative weight change as “weight gain” (>1 BMI unit), “stable weight” (+/− 1 BMI unit) and “weight loss” (<1 BMI unit). The mean follow-up period was 4.6 years, and the risk of AF was estimated using adjusted Cox regression models.
Average age at diabetes diagnosis was 60 years and the patients were slightly obese (mean BMI 30.2 kg/m2). During follow-up, 287 patients developed incident AF, and those with overweight or obesity at baseline had 1.9-fold and 2.9-fold higher risk of AF, respectively, than those with normal BMI. The 14% of the patients with subsequent weight gain had 1.5-fold risk of AF compared with those with stable weight or weight loss.
In patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes, baseline overweight and obesity, as well as modest weight increase during the first 18 months after diagnosis, were associated with a substantially increased risk of incident AF. Patients with type 2 diabetes may benefit from efforts to prevent weight gain in order to reduce the risk of incident AF.
Trial registration NCT01121315
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12933-014-0170-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4299152  PMID: 25589001
Epidemiology; Atrial fibrillation; Type 2 diabetes; Weight control
17.  Plasma extracellular superoxide dismutase concentration, allelic variations in the SOD3 gene and risk of myocardial infarction and all-cause mortality in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes 
Oxidative stress is involved in development of diabetes complications. Extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD, SOD3) is a major extracellular antioxidant enzyme and is highly expressed in arterial walls. Advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP) and 8-iso-prostaglandin (isoprostane) are markers of oxidative stress. We investigated association of SOD3 gene variants, plasma concentrations of EC-SOD, AOPP and isoprostane with myocardial infarction and mortality in diabetic patients.
We studied three cohorts designed to evaluate the vascular complications of diabetes: the GENEDIAB study (469 participants with type 1 diabetes at baseline; follow-up data for 259 participants), the GENESIS study (603 participants with type 1 diabetes at baseline; follow-up data for 525 participants) and the DIABHYCAR study (3137 participants with type 2 diabetes at baseline and follow-up). Duration of follow-up was 9, 5, and 5 years, respectively. Main outcome measures were incidence of myocardial infarction, and cardiovascular and total mortality during follow-up. Six single nucleotide polymorphisms in the SOD3 locus were genotyped in the three cohorts. Plasma concentrations of EC-SOD, AOPP, and isoprostane were measured in baseline samples of GENEDIAB participants.
In GENEDIAB/GENESIS pooled cohorts, the minor T-allele of rs2284659 variant was inversely associated with the prevalence at baseline (Odds Ratio 0.48, 95% CI 0.29–0.78, p = 0.004) and the incidence during follow-up of myocardial infarction (Hazard Ratio 0.58, 95% CI 0.40–0.83, p = 0.003) and with cardiovascular (HR 0.33, 95% CI 0.08–0.74, p = 0.004) and all-cause mortality (HR 0.44, 95% CI 0.21–0.73, p = 0.0006). The protective allele was associated with higher plasma EC-SOD and lower plasma AOPP concentrations in GENEDIAB. It was also inversely associated with incidence of myocardial infarction (HR 0.75, 95% CI 0.59–0.94, p = 0.01) and all-cause mortality (HR 0.87, 95% CI 0.79–0.97, p = 0.008) in DIABHYCAR.
The T-allele of rs2284659 in the promoter of SOD3 was associated with a more favorable plasma redox status and with better cardiovascular outcomes in diabetic patients. Our results suggest that EC-SOD plays an important role in the mechanisms of vascular protection against diabetes-related oxidative stress.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12933-014-0163-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4324771
Oxidative Stress; SOD3; Myocardial Infarction; Mortality; Diabetes Mellitus
18.  Crosstalk between advanced glycation end products (AGEs)-receptor RAGE axis and dipeptidyl peptidase-4-incretin system in diabetic vascular complications 
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) consist of heterogenous group of macroprotein derivatives, which are formed by non-enzymatic reaction between reducing sugars and amino groups of proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, and whose process has progressed at an accelerated rate under diabetes. Non-enzymatic glycation and cross-linking of protein alter its structural integrity and function, contributing to the aging of macromolecules. Furthermore, engagement of receptor for AGEs (RAGE) with AGEs elicits oxidative stress generation and subsequently evokes proliferative, inflammatory, and fibrotic reactions in a variety of cells. Indeed, accumulating evidence has suggested the active involvement of accumulation of AGEs in diabetes-associated disorders such as diabetic microangiopathy, atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) are incretins, gut hormones secreted from the intestine in response to food intake, both of which augment glucose-induced insulin release, suppress glucagon secretion, and slow gastric emptying. Since GLP-1 and GIP are rapidly degraded and inactivated by dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4), inhibition of DPP-4 and/or DPP-4-resistant GLP-1 analogues have been proposed as a potential target for the treatment of diabetes. Recently, DPP-4 has been shown to cleave multiple peptides, and blockade of DPP-4 could exert diverse biological actions in GLP-1- or GIP-independent manner. This article summarizes the crosstalk between AGEs-RAGE axis and DPP-4-incretin system in the development and progression of diabetes-associated disorders and its therapeutic intervention, especially focusing on diabetic vascular complications.
PMCID: PMC4298871  PMID: 25582643
AGEs; RAGE; Incretin; DPP-4; Oxidative stress
19.  Diastolic dysfunction in the diabetic continuum: association with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes 
Diabetes increases the risk of heart failure but the underlying mechanisms leading to diabetic cardiomyopathy are poorly understood. Left ventricle diastolic dysfunction (LVDD) is one of the earliest cardiac changes in these patients. We aimed to evaluate the association between LVDD with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome (MS) and diabetes, across the diabetic continuum.
Within a population-based study (EPIPorto), a total of 1063 individuals aged ≥45 years (38% male, 61.2 ± 9.6 years) were evaluated. Diastolic function was assessed by echocardiography, using tissue Doppler analysis (E’ velocity and E/E’ ratio) according to the latest consensus guidelines. Insulin resistance was assessed using the Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) score.
The HOMA-IR score correlated to E’ velocity (ρ = −0.20;p < 0.0001) and E/E’ ratio (ρ = 0.20; p < 0.0001). There was a progressive worsening in E’ velocity (p for trend < 0.001) and in E/E’ ratio across HOMA-IR quartiles (p for trend <0.001). Individuals in the highest HOMA-IR quartile were more likely to have LVDD, even after adjustment for age, sex, blood pressure and body mass index (adjusted OR: 1.82; 95% CI: 1.09-3.03). From individuals with no MS, to patients with MS and no diabetes, to patients with diabetes, there was a progressive decrease in E’ velocity (11.2 ± 3.3 vs 9.7 ± 3.1 vs 9.2 ± 2.8 cm/s; p < 0.0001), higher E/E’ (6.9 ± 2.3 vs 7.8 ± 2.7 vs 9.0 ± 3.6; p < 0.0001) and more diastolic dysfunction (adjusted OR: 1.62; 95% CI: 1.12-2.36 and 1.78; 95% CI: 1.09-2.91, respectively).
HOMA-IR score and metabolic syndrome were independently associated with LVDD. Changes in diastolic function are already present before the onset of diabetes, being mainly associated with the state of insulin resistance.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12933-014-0168-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4298953  PMID: 25582424
Insulin resistance; Diabetes; Diastole; Diabetic cardiomyopathy
20.  Higher blood aldosterone level in metabolic syndrome is independently related to adiposity and fasting plasma glucose 
Hypoadiponectinemia is a well-known state associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS) and insulin resistance (IR). Recently aldosterone has been highly associated with high blood pressure, and may thus be a possible biomarker for MetS and IR. In this study, we investigate the association of aldosterone with MetS and IR, and compare it with that of adiponectin.
In this cross-sectional study, we recruited 556 women receiving physical examinations at a general hospital in central Taiwan. At the time of examination, we collected data on various demographic and physical characteristics and measured blood levels of aldosterone, adiponectin and a variety of metabolic factors. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed using adiponectin or aldosterone as the dependent variables.
We found an inverse correlation between blood adiponectin and aldosterone (γ = −0.11, P = 0.009). Adiponectin levels were lower and aldosterone levels higher in women with MetS that those without (8.1 ± 0.4 vs. 11.5 ± 0.2 μg/mL, P < 0.001 and 691 ± 50 vs. 560 ± 11 pmol/L, P = 0.013, respectively), as they were in women with and without IR (adiponectin 10.4 ± 0.5 vs. 11.3 ± 0.2 μg/mL, P = 0.003 and aldosterone 635 ± 31 vs. 560 ± 11 pmol/L, P = 0.022). Although aldosterone was significantly related to body fat %, fasting plasma glucose and serum creatinine levels, the relationship between adiponectin and aldosterone was not obvious after adjustment in the multivariate analysis.
Although aldosterone was related to metabolic factors, including body fat % and fasting plasma glucose in our female subjects, the relationship between aldosterone and adiponectin remains unclear.
PMCID: PMC4302513  PMID: 25582547
Aldosterone; Metabolic syndrome; Adiponectin; Adiposity; Glucose
21.  Glyceraldehyde-derived pyridinium (GLAP) evokes oxidative stress and inflammatory and thrombogenic reactions in endothelial cells via the interaction with RAGE 
We have previously shown that serum levels of glyceraldehyde-derived advanced glycation end products (Gly-AGEs) are elevated under oxidative stress and/or diabetic conditions and associated with insulin resistance, endothelial dysfunction and vascular inflammation in humans. Further, Gly-AGEs not only evoke oxidative and inflammatory reactions in endothelial cells (ECs) through the interaction with a receptor for AGEs (RAGE), but also mimic vasopermeability effects of AGE-rich serum purified from diabetic patients on hemodialysis. These observations suggest that Gly-AGE-RAGE system might be a therapeutic target for vascular complications in diabetes. However, since incubation of glyceraldehyde with proteins will generate a large number of structurally distinct AGEs, it remains unclear what type of AGE structures could mediate the deleterious effects of Gly-AGEs on ECs.
Aims and Methods
Therefore, in this study, we examined (1) whether glyceraldehyde-derived pyridinium (GLAP), one of the Gly-AGEs generated by the incubation of lysine with glyceraldehyde, elicited reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and inflammatory and thrombogenic gene expression in human umbilical vein ECs (HUVECs) via the interaction with RAGE and (2) if DNA aptamers raised against Gly-AGEs or GLAP (AGE-aptamer or GLAP-aptamer) inhibited the binding of GLAP to RAGE and subsequently suppressed the harmful effects of GLAP on HUVECs.
GLAP stimulated ROS generation in a bell-shaped manner; GLAP at 10 μg/ml increased ROS generation in HUVECs by 40%, which was blocked by the treatment with RAGE-antibody (RAGE-Ab). Ten μg/ml GLAP significantly up-regulated mRNA levels of RAGE, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 in HUVECs, which were also suppressed by RAGE-Ab. AGE-aptamer or GLAP-aptamer significantly blocked these deleterious effects of GLAP on HUVECs. Moreover, quartz crystal microbalance analyses revealed that GLAP actually bound to RAGE and that AGE-aptamer or GLAP-aptamer inhibited the binding of GLAP to RAGE.
The present study suggests that GLAP might be a main glyceraldehyde-related AGE structure in Gly-AGEs that bound to RAGE and subsequently elicited ROS generation and inflammatory and thrombogenic reactions in HUVECs. Blockade of the GLAP-RAGE interaction by AGE-aptamer or GLAP-aptamer might be a novel therapeutic strategy for preventing vascular injury in diabetes.
PMCID: PMC4299541  PMID: 25582325
AGEs; RAGE; GLAP; Aptamer; Oxidative stress
22.  The interleukin-1 receptor antagonist anakinra improves endothelial dysfunction in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats 
Cardiovascular Diabetology  2014;13(1):158.
Endothelial dysfunction is a crucial early phenomenon in vascular diseases linked to diabetes mellitus and associated to enhanced oxidative stress. There is increasing evidence about the role for pro-inflammatory cytokines, like interleukin-1β (IL-1β), in developing diabetic vasculopathy. We aimed to determine the possible involvement of this cytokine in the development of diabetic endothelial dysfunction, analysing whether anakinra, an antagonist of IL-1 receptors, could reduce this endothelial alteration by interfering with pro-oxidant and pro-inflammatory pathways into the vascular wall.
In control and two weeks evolution streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats, either untreated or receiving anakinra, vascular reactivity and NADPH oxidase activity were measured, respectively, in isolated rings and homogenates from mesenteric microvessels, while nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation was determined in aortas. Plasma levels of IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were measured by ELISA. In isolated mesenteric microvessels from control rats, two hours incubation with IL-1β (1 to 10 ng/mL) produced a concentration-dependent impairment of endothelium-dependent relaxations, which were mediated by enhanced NADPH oxidase activity via IL-1 receptors. In diabetic rats treated with anakinra (100 or 160 mg/Kg/day for 3 or 7 days before sacrifice) a partial improvement of diabetic endothelial dysfunction occurred, together with a reduction of vascular NADPH oxidase and NF-κB activation. Endothelial dysfunction in diabetic animals was also associated to higher activities of the pro-inflammatory enzymes cyclooxygenase (COX) and the inducible isoform of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), which were markedly reduced after anakinra treatment. Circulating IL-1β and TNF-α levels did not change in diabetic rats, but they were lowered by anakinra treatment.
In this short-term model of type 1 diabetes, endothelial dysfunction is associated to an IL-1 receptor-mediated activation of vascular NADPH oxidase and NF-κB, as well as to vascular inflammation. Moreover, endothelial dysfunction, vascular oxidative stress and inflammation were reduced after anakinra treatment. Whether this mechanism can be extrapolated to a chronic situation or whether it may apply to diabetic patients remain to be established. However, it may provide new insights to further investigate the therapeutic use of IL-1 receptor antagonists to obtain vascular benefits in patients with diabetes mellitus and/or atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC4276125  PMID: 25518980
Diabetes mellitus; Endothelial dysfunction; NADPH oxidase; Nuclear factor-κB; Anakinra; Interleukin-1β; Vascular inflammation
23.  Prediction of mortality using a multi-bed vascular calcification score in the Diabetes Heart Study 
Cardiovascular Diabetology  2014;13(1):160.
Vascular calcified plaque, a measure of subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD), is unlikely to be limited to a single vascular bed in patients with multiple risk factors. Consideration of vascular calcified plaque as a global phenomenon may allow for a more accurate assessment of the CVD burden. The aim of this study was to examine the utility of a combined vascular calcified plaque score in the prediction of mortality.
Vascular calcified plaque scores from the coronary, carotid, and abdominal aortic vascular beds and a derived multi-bed score were examined for associations with all-cause and CVD-mortality in 699 European-American type 2 diabetes (T2D) affected individuals from the Diabetes Heart Study. The ability of calcified plaque to improve prediction beyond Framingham risk factors was assessed.
Over 8.4 ± 2.3 years (mean ± standard deviation) of follow-up, 156 (22.3%) participants were deceased, 74 (10.6%) from CVD causes. All calcified plaque scores were significantly associated with all-cause (HR: 1.4-1.8; p < 1x10−5) and CVD-mortality (HR: 1.5-1.9; p < 1×10−4) following adjustment for Framingham risk factors. Associations were strongest for coronary calcified plaque. Improvement in prediction of outcome beyond Framingham risk factors was greatest using coronary calcified plaque for all-cause mortality (AUC: 0.720 to 0.757, p = 0.004) and the multi-bed score for CVD mortality (AUC: 0.731 to 0.767, p = 0.008).
Although coronary calcified plaque and the multi-bed score were the strongest predictors of all-cause mortality and CVD-mortality respectively in this T2D-affected sample, carotid and abdominal aortic calcified plaque scores also significantly improved prediction of outcome beyond traditional risk factors and should not be discounted as risk stratification tools.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12933-014-0160-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4266952  PMID: 25496604
Vascular calcified plaque; Mortality; Computed tomography; Type 2 diabetes
24.  Increased haemodynamic adrenergic load with isoflurane anaesthesia in type 2 diabetic and obese rats in vivo 
Cardiovascular Diabetology  2014;13(1):161.
Increasing numbers of type 2 diabetic and obese patients with enhanced rates of cardiovascular complications require surgical interventions, however they have a higher incidence of perioperative haemodynamic complications, which has been linked to adrenergic dysfunction. Therefore, we aimed to determine how α- and β-adrenoceptor (AR)-mediated haemodynamic responses are affected by isoflurane anaesthesia in experimental type 2 diabetes and obesity in vivo.
Sixteen-week old male Zucker type 2 Diabetic Fatty (ZDF) rats, Zucker Obese rats and their lean counterparts (n = 7-9 per group) were instrumented with radio telemeters to record blood pressure and heart rate and with vascular access ports for non-invasive intravenous drug delivery in vivo. Haemodynamic effects of α-AR (phenylephrine; 1-100 μ−1) or β-AR (dobutamine; 2-120 μ−1) stimulation were assessed under conscious and anaesthetised (isoflurane; 2%) conditions.
Vascular α-AR sensitivity was increased in both diabetic (non-diabetic 80 ± 3 vs. diabetic 95 ± 4 ΔmmHg at 100 μ−1; p < 0.05) and obese (lean 65 ± 6 vs. obese 84 ± 6 ΔmmHg at 20 μ−1; p < 0.05) conscious rats. Interestingly, anaesthesia exacerbated and prolonged the increased α-AR function in both diabetic and obese animals (non-diabetic 51 ± 1 vs. diabetic 68 ± 4 ΔmmHg, lean 61 ± 5 vs. obese 84 ± 2 ΔmmHg at 20 μ−1; p < 0.05). Meanwhile, β-AR chronotropic sensitivity was reduced in conscious diabetic and obese rats (non-diabetic 58 ± 7 vs. diabetic 27 ± 8 Δbpm, lean 103 ± 12 vs. obese 61 ± 9 Δbpm at 15 μ−1; p < 0.05). Anaesthesia normalised chronotropic β-AR responses, via either a limited reduction in obese (lean 51 ± 3 vs. obese 66 ± 5 Δbpm; NS at 15 μ−1) or increased responses in diabetic animals (non-diabetic 49 ± 8 vs. diabetic 63 ± 8 Δbpm, at 15 μ−1; NS at 15 μ−1).
Long term metabolic stress, such as during type 2 diabetes and obesity, alters α- and β-AR function, its dynamics and the interaction with isoflurane anaesthesia. During anaesthesia, enhanced α-AR sensitivity and normalised β-AR function may impair cardiovascular function in experimental type 2 diabetes and obesity.
PMCID: PMC4266208  PMID: 25496763
Anaesthesia; Conscious; Haemodynamic; Type 2 diabetes; Obesity; in vivo
25.  Hypertriglyceridemia: a too long unfairly neglected major cardiovascular risk factor 
Cardiovascular Diabetology  2014;13(1):159.
The existence of an independent association between elevated triglyceride (TG) levels, cardiovascular (CV) risk and mortality has been largely controversial. The main difficulty in isolating the effect of hypertriglyceridemia on CV risk is the fact that elevated triglyceride levels are commonly associated with concomitant changes in high density lipoprotein (HDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL) and other lipoproteins. As a result of this problem and in disregard of the real biological role of TG, its significance as a plausible therapeutic target was unfoundedly underestimated for many years. However, taking epidemiological data together, both moderate and severe hypertriglyceridaemia are associated with a substantially increased long term total mortality and CV risk. Plasma TG levels partially reflect the concentration of the triglyceride-carrying lipoproteins (TRL): very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), chylomicrons and their remnants. Furthermore, hypertriglyceridemia commonly leads to reduction in HDL and increase in atherogenic small dense LDL levels. TG may also stimulate atherogenesis by mechanisms, such excessive free fatty acids (FFA) release, production of proinflammatory cytokines, fibrinogen, coagulation factors and impairment of fibrinolysis. Genetic studies strongly support hypertriglyceridemia and high concentrations of TRL as causal risk factors for CV disease. The most common forms of hypertriglyceridemia are related to overweight and sedentary life style, which in turn lead to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome (MS) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Intensive lifestyle therapy is the main initial treatment of hypertriglyceridemia. Statins are a cornerstone of the modern lipids-modifying therapy. If the primary goal is to lower TG levels, fibrates (bezafibrate and fenofibrate for monotherapy, and in combination with statin; gemfibrozil only for monotherapy) could be the preferable drugs. Also ezetimibe has mild positive effects in lowering TG. Initial experience with en ezetimibe/fibrates combination seems promising. The recently released IMPROVE-IT Trial is the first to prove that adding a non-statin drug (ezetimibe) to a statin lowers the risk of future CV events. In conclusion, the classical clinical paradigm of lipids-modifying treatment should be changed and high TG should be recognized as an important target for therapy in their own right. Hypertriglyceridemia should be treated.
PMCID: PMC4264548  PMID: 25471221
Cardiovascular risk; Cholesterol; Fibrates; Hypertriglyceridemia; Insulin resistance; Metabolic syndrome; Obesity; Statins; Triglycerides; Type 2 diabetes

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