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1.  Elevated Atherosclerosis-Related Gene Expression, Monocyte Activation and Microparticle-Release Are Related to Increased Lipoprotein-Associated Oxidative Stress in Familial Hypercholesterolemia 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0121516.
Animal and in vitro studies have suggested that hypercholesterolemia and increased oxidative stress predisposes to monocyte activation and enhanced accumulation of oxidized LDL cholesterol (oxLDL-C) through a CD36-dependent mechanism. The aim of this study was to investigate the hypothesis that elevated oxLDL-C induce proinflammatory monocytes and increased release of monocyte-derived microparticles (MMPs), as well as up-regulation of CD36, chemokine receptors and proinflammatory factors through CD36-dependent pathways and that this is associated with accelerated atherosclerosis in subjects with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), in particular in the presence of Achilles tendon xanthomas (ATX).
Approach and Results
We studied thirty FH subjects with and without ATX and twenty-three healthy control subjects. Intima-media thickness (IMT) and Achilles tendon (AT) thickness were measured by ultrasonography. Monocyte classification and MMP analysis were performed by flow cytometry. Monocyte expression of genes involved in atherosclerosis was determined by quantitative PCR. IMT and oxLDL-C were increased in FH subjects, especially in the presence of ATX. In addition, FH subjects had elevated proportions of intermediate CD14++CD16+ monocytes and higher circulating MMP levels. Stepwise linear regression identified oxLDL-C, gender and intermediate monocytes as predictors of MMPs. Monocyte expression of pro-atherogenic and pro-inflammatory genes regulated by oxLDL-C-CD36 interaction was increased in FH, especially in ATX+ subjects. Monocyte chemokine receptor CX3CR1 was identified as an independent contributor to IMT.
Our data support that lipoprotein-associated oxidative stress is involved in accelerated atherosclerosis in FH, particularly in the presence of ATX, by inducing pro-inflammatory monocytes and increased release of MMPs along with elevated monocyte expression of oxLDL-C-induced atherosclerosis-related genes.
PMCID: PMC4395270  PMID: 25875611
2.  The effects of capillary dysfunction on oxygen and glucose extraction in diabetic neuropathy 
Diabetologia  2014;58(4):666-677.
Diabetic neuropathy is associated with disturbances in endoneurial metabolism and microvascular morphology, but the roles of these factors in the aetiopathogenesis of diabetic neuropathy remain unclear. Changes in endoneurial capillary morphology and vascular reactivity apparently predate the development of diabetic neuropathy in humans, and in manifest neuropathy, reductions in nerve conduction velocity correlate with the level of endoneurial hypoxia. The idea that microvascular changes cause diabetic neuropathy is contradicted, however, by reports of elevated endoneurial blood flow in early experimental diabetes, and of unaffected blood flow when early histological signs of neuropathy first develop in humans. We recently showed that disturbances in capillary flow patterns, so-called capillary dysfunction, can reduce the amount of oxygen and glucose that can be extracted by the tissue for a given blood flow. In fact, tissue blood flow must be adjusted to ensure sufficient oxygen extraction as capillary dysfunction becomes more severe, thereby changing the normal relationship between tissue oxygenation and blood flow. This review examines the evidence of capillary dysfunction in diabetic neuropathy, and whether the observed relation between endoneurial blood flow and nerve function is consistent with increasingly disturbed capillary flow patterns. The analysis suggests testable relations between capillary dysfunction, tissue hypoxia, aldose reductase activity, oxidative stress, tissue inflammation and glucose clearance from blood. We discuss the implications of these predictions in relation to the prevention and management of diabetic complications in type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and suggest ways of testing these hypotheses in experimental and clinical settings.
PMCID: PMC4351434  PMID: 25512003
Capillary dysfunction; Diabetic complications; Diabetic neuropathy; Glucose intolerance; Glucose transport; Microvascular disease
3.  Glucose tolerance is associated with differential expression of microRNAs in skeletal muscle: results from studies of twins with and without type 2 diabetes 
Diabetologia  2014;58:363-373.
We aimed to identify microRNAs (miRNAs) associated with type 2 diabetes and risk of developing the disease in skeletal muscle biopsies from phenotypically well-characterised twins.
We measured muscle miRNA levels in monozygotic (MZ) twins discordant for type 2 diabetes using arrays. Further investigations of selected miRNAs included target prediction, pathway analysis, silencing in cells and association analyses in a separate cohort of 164 non-diabetic MZ and dizygotic twins. The effects of elevated glucose and insulin levels on miRNA expression were examined, and the effect of low birthweight (LBW) was studied in rats.
We identified 20 miRNAs that were downregulated in MZ twins with diabetes compared with their non-diabetic co-twins. Differences for members of the miR-15 family (miR-15b and miR-16) were the most statistically significant, and these miRNAs were predicted to influence insulin signalling. Indeed, miR-15b and miR-16 levels were associated with levels of key insulin signalling proteins, miR-15b was associated with the insulin receptor in non-diabetic twins and knockdown of miR-15b/miR-16 in myocytes changed the levels of insulin signalling proteins. LBW in twins and undernutrition during pregnancy in rats were, in contrast to overt type 2 diabetes, associated with increased expression of miR-15b and/or miR-16. Elevated glucose and insulin suppressed miR-16 expression in vitro.
Type 2 diabetes is associated with non-genetic downregulation of several miRNAs in skeletal muscle including miR-15b and miR-16, potentially targeting insulin signalling. The paradoxical findings in twins with overt diabetes and twins at increased risk of the disease underscore the complexity of the regulation of muscle insulin signalling in glucose homeostasis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-014-3434-2) contains peer-reviewed but unedited supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.
PMCID: PMC4287682  PMID: 25403480
Insulin signalling; Low birthweight; MicroRNA; miR-15b; miR-16; Muscle; Twins; Type 2 diabetes
4.  Poor pregnancy outcome after octreotide treatment during pregnancy for familial hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia: a case report 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:804.
Late familial hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia is characterized by recurrent episodes of hypoglycemia and an inappropriate insulinemic response. Treatment with octreotide (somatostatin analogue) reduces the prevalence of clinical significant hypoglycemia and might be beneficial during pregnancy. To our knowledge this is the first report of a woman with late familial hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia experiencing pregnancies with and without octreotide treatment.
Case presentation
A 35-year-old Caucasian woman known to suffer from late familial hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia due to a well-known mutation in the insulin receptor gene has been pregnant 6 times. The patient was treated with injections of Sandostatin LAR® (octreotide) during the first four pregnancies. Her first pregnancy in 1999 was unknown until approximately 25th gestational weeks with fatal intrauterine growth retardation. The following two pregnancies were terminated on parental request after a chorion villus biopsy revealed the mutation causing late familial hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia. During the fourth pregnancy, in which the fetus also had the mutation, serial ultrasound examinations showed a small fetus with appropriate growth. At birth the girl was small for gestational age. She was admitted to the neonatal special care unit due to low blood glucose and intravenous glucose and early feeding was initiated. One day old, her condition deteriorated with signs of an abdominal catastrophe indicating necrotizing enterocolitis. After two laparotomies – both confirming necrotizing enterocolitis - the child died 8 days after birth.
In the following two pregnancies Sandostatin LAR® was stopped before pregnancy and the patient was treated only with diet restriction and intensive glucose monitoring. Both pregnancies ended successfully. One child carried the mutation and was small for gestational age at birth while the other child did not carry the mutation and had normal birth weight.
In a woman with late familial hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia octreotide was given during the first four pregnancies resulting in 2 cases of early termination of pregnancy on parental request and 2 cases of inappropriate fetal growth and unviable outcome. The following two pregnancies treated with diet only had a successful outcome.
PMCID: PMC4242601  PMID: 25404386
Pregnancy; Diabetes; Hyperinsulinemia; Octreotide; Necrotizing enterocolitis; Intrauterine growth retardation and pregnancy outcome
5.  Risk of Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes Among Young Twins and Singletons in Guinea-Bissau 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(11):3549-3556.
Twins in Africa may be at increased risk of metabolic disorders due to strained conditions in utero, including high exposure to infections. We studied metabolic syndrome (MS) and diabetes mellitus (DM) among young twins and singletons in Guinea-Bissau.
The study was cross-sectional and occurred from October 2009 until August 2011 at the Bandim Health Project, a demographic surveillance site in the capital Bissau. Twins and singleton controls between 5 and 32 years were visited at home. Fasting blood samples for metabolic measurements were collected. Zygosity was established genetically for a subset. DM was defined as HbA1c ≥6.5% (48 mmol/mol) and MS by the International Diabetes Federation criteria.
HbA1c was available for 574 twins and 463 singletons. Mean age was 15.3 years versus 15.8 years, respectively. Eighteen percent of twins were monozygotic. There were no DM cases among twins but one among singletons. A total of 1.4% (8 of 574) of twins had elevated HbA1c (6.0–6.4%, 42–46 mmol/mol) compared with 2.4% (11 of 463) of singletons (P = 0.28). Mean HbA1c was 5.3% (34 mmol/mol) for both groups. MS data were available for 364 twins and 360 singletons. The MS prevalence was 3.0% (11 of 364) among twins and 3.6% (13 of 360) among singletons (P = 0.66). The prevalence of fasting blood glucose (F-glucose) ≥5.6 mmol/L was 34.9% (127 of 364) for twins versus 24.7% (89 of 360) for singletons (P = 0.003). Median homeostasis model assessment–insulin resistance did not differ (P = 0.34).
The MS and DM prevalences among young individuals in Guinea-Bissau were low. Twins did not have a higher MS and DM burden than singletons, though elevated F-glucose was more common among twins.
PMCID: PMC3816924  PMID: 23949562
6.  Genetic versus Non-Genetic Regulation of miR-103, miR-143 and miR-483-3p Expression in Adipose Tissue and Their Metabolic Implications—A Twin Study 
Genes  2014;5(3):508-517.
Murine models suggest that the microRNAs miR-103 and miR-143 may play central roles in the regulation of subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) and development of type 2 diabetes (T2D). The microRNA miR-483-3p may reduce adipose tissue expandability and cause ectopic lipid accumulation, insulin resistance and T2D. We aimed to explore the genetic and non-genetic factors that regulate these microRNAs in human SAT, and to investigate their impact on metabolism in humans. Levels of miR-103, miR-143 and miR-483-3p were measured in SAT biopsies from 244 elderly monozygotic and dizygotic twins using real-time PCR. Heritability estimates were calculated and multiple regression analyses were performed to study associations between these microRNAs and measures of metabolism, as well as between these microRNAs and possible regulating factors. We found that increased BMI was associated with increased miR-103 expression levels. In addition, the miR-103 levels were positively associated with 2 h plasma glucose levels and hemoglobin A1c independently of BMI. Heritability estimates for all three microRNAs were low. In conclusion, the expression levels of miR-103, miR-143 and miR-483-3p in adipose tissue are primarily influenced by non-genetic factors, and miR-103 may be involved in the development of adiposity and control of glucose metabolism in humans.
PMCID: PMC4198914  PMID: 25010252
micrornas; subcutaneous adipose tissue; human metabolism; twins
7.  Lifestyle and clinical factors associated with elevated C-reactive protein among newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients: a cross-sectional study from the nationwide DD2 cohort 
We aimed to examine the prevalence of and modifiable factors associated with elevated C-reactive Protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation, in men and women with newly diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes mellitus (DM) in a population-based setting.
CRP was measured in 1,037 patients (57% male) with newly diagnosed Type 2 DM included in the prospective nationwide Danish Centre for Strategic Research in Type 2 Diabetes (DD2) project. We assessed the prevalence of elevated CRP and calculated relative risks (RR) examining the association of CRP with lifestyle and clinical factors by Poisson regression, stratified by gender. We used linear regression to examine the association of CRP with other biomarkers.
The median CRP value was 2.1 mg/L (interquartile range, 1.0 – 4.8 mg/L). In total, 405 out of the 1,037 Type 2 DM patients (40%) had elevated CRP levels (>3.0 mg/L). More women (46%) than men (34%) had elevated CRP. Among women, a lower risk of elevated CRP was observed in patients receiving statins (adjusted RR (aRR) 0.7 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.6-0.9)), whereas a higher risk was seen in patients with central obesity (aRR 2.3 (95% CI 1.0-5.3)). For men, CRP was primarily elevated among patients with no regular physical activity (aRR 1.5 (95% CI 1.1-1.9)), previous cardiovascular disease (aRR1.5 (95% CI 1.2-1.9) and other comorbidity. For both genders, elevated CRP was 1.4-fold increased in those with weight gain >30 kg since age 20 years. Sensitivity analyses showed consistent results with the full analysis. The linear regression analysis conveyed an association between high CRP and increased fasting blood glucose.
Among newly diagnosed Type 2 DM patients, 40% had elevated CRP levels. Important modifiable risk factors for elevated CRP may vary by gender, and include low physical activity for men and central obesity and absence of statin use for women.
PMCID: PMC4161271  PMID: 25163828
C-reactive protein; Lifestyle factors; Obesity; Physical activity
8.  Anthropometrics and Body Composition by Dual Energy X-Ray in Children of Obese Women: A Follow-Up of a Randomized Controlled Trial (the Lifestyle in Pregnancy and Offspring [LiPO] Study) 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89590.
In obese women, 1) to assess whether lower gestational weight gain (GWG) during pregnancy in the lifestyle intervention group of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) resulted in differences in offspring anthropometrics and body composition, and 2) to compare offspring outcomes to a reference group of children born to women with a normal Body Mass Index (BMI).
Research design and methods
The LiPO (Lifestyle in Pregnancy and Offspring) study was an offspring follow-up of a RCT with 360 obese pregnant women with a lifestyle intervention during pregnancy including dietary advice, coaching and exercise. The trial was completed by 301 women who were eligible for follow-up. In addition, to the children from the RCT, a group of children born to women with a normal BMI were included as a reference group. At 2.8 (range 2.5–3.2) years, anthropometrics were measured in 157 children of the RCT mothers and in 97 reference group children with Body Mass Index (BMI) Z-score as a primary outcome. Body composition was estimated by Dual Energy X-ray (DEXA) in 123 successful scans out of 147 (84%).
No differences between randomized groups were seen in mean (95% C.I.) BMI Z-score (intervention group 0.06 [−0.17; 0.29] vs. controls −0.18 [−0.43; 0.05]), in the percentage of overweight or obese children (10.9% vs. 6.7%), in other anthropometrics, or in body composition values by DEXA. Outcomes between children from the RCT and the reference group children were not significantly different.
The RCT with lifestyle intervention in obese pregnant women did not result in any detectable effect on offspring anthropometrics or body composition by DEXA at 2.8 years of age. This may reflect the limited difference in GWG between intervention and control groups. Offspring of obese mothers from the RCT were comparable to offspring of mothers with a normal BMI.
Trial registration NCT00530439, NCT01918319 and NCT01918423. URL: NCT00530439?term = NCT00530439&rank = 1, NCT01918319?term = NCT00530439&rank = 2 and NCT01918423?term = NCT00530439&rank = 3.
PMCID: PMC3933548  PMID: 24586896
9.  A flow cytometric method for characterization of circulating cell-derived microparticles in plasma 
Journal of Extracellular Vesicles  2014;3:10.3402/jev.v3.20795.
Background and aim
Previous studies on circulating microparticles (MPs) indicate that the majority of MPs are of a size below the detection limit of most standard flow cytometers. The objective of the present study was to establish a method to analyze MP subpopulations above the threshold of detection of a new generation BD FACSAria™ III digital flow cytometer.
We analyzed MP subpopulations in plasma from 24 healthy individuals (9 males and 15 females). MPs were identified according to their size (<1.0-µm), by Lactadherin-FITC labelling, and by exposure of cell-specific markers. The sensitivity of the flow cytometer was tested against that of a previous-generation instrument FC500. Reproducibility of the FACSAria and our set-up was investigated, and the percentage of phosphatidylserine (PS) exposing MPs binding Lactadherin was determined.
By using a flow cytometric approach we identified and quantitated MPs derived from platelets, monocytes, erythrocytes and endothelial cells. In addition, levels of tissue factor-positive MPs were determined. The FACSAria demonstrated improved sensitivity and increased MP detection range compared to the FC500 instrument. The reproducibility of PS+PMP and PS+MP measurements was 11.7 and 23.2%, respectively. When expressed as a percentage of total MPs, the PS-positive MP population represented 15.1±5.5%, and PS-positive MPs were significantly increased in men.
We have established a method to measure MPs above the detection limit of a new generation flow cytometer and derived from a number of cell-types in a healthy population of men and women.
PMCID: PMC3916676  PMID: 24511371
extracellular vesicles; flow cytometry; coincidence occurrence; platelet-derived; monocyte-derived; endothelial cell-derived; erythrocyte-derived; tissue-factor; lactadherin
10.  Studies of association of AGPAT6 variants with type 2 diabetes and related metabolic phenotypes in 12,068 Danes 
BMC Medical Genetics  2013;14:113.
Type 2 diabetes, obesity and insulin resistance are characterized by hypertriglyceridemia and ectopic accumulation of lipids in liver and skeletal muscle. AGPAT6 encodes a novel glycerol-3 phosphate acyltransferase, GPAT4, which catalyzes the first step in the de novo triglyceride synthesis. AGPAT6-deficient mice show lower weight and resistance to diet- and genetically induced obesity. Here, we examined whether common or low-frequency variants in AGPAT6 associate with type 2 diabetes or related metabolic traits in a Danish population.
Eleven variants selected by a candidate gene approach capturing the common and low-frequency variation of AGPAT6 were genotyped in 12,068 Danes from four study populations of middle-aged individuals. The case–control study involved 4,638 type 2 diabetic and 5,934 glucose-tolerant individuals, while studies of quantitative metabolic traits were performed in 5,645 non-diabetic participants of the Inter99 Study.
None of the eleven AGPAT6 variants were robustly associated with type 2 diabetes in the Danish case–control study. Moreover, none of the AGPAT6 variants showed association with measures of obesity (waist circumference and BMI), serum lipid concentrations, fasting or 2-h post-glucose load levels of plasma glucose and serum insulin, or estimated indices of insulin secretion or insulin sensitivity.
Common and low-frequency variants in AGPAT6 do not significantly associate with type 2 diabetes susceptibility, or influence related phenotypic traits such as obesity, dyslipidemia or indices of insulin sensitivity or insulin secretion in the population studied.
PMCID: PMC4231429  PMID: 24156295
Type 2 diabetes; Genetics; Insulin resistance; Human; Lipid droplets; AGPAT6; GPAT4
11.  FA1 Induces Pro-Inflammatory and Anti-Adipogenic Pathways/Markers in Human Myotubes Established from Lean, Obese, and Type 2 Diabetic Subjects but Not Insulin Resistance 
Aims: Delta like 1/fetal antigen 1 (Dlk1/FA1) is a protein secreted by hormone producing cells in adult human and mice that is known to inhibit adipogenesis. Recent studies demonstrated the role of Dlk1/FA1 in inducing insulin resistance in mice. To investigate the involvement of circulating Dlk1/FA1 in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in human subjects, we studied the effects of chronic FA1 on the intermediary metabolism in myotubes established from lean, obese, and type 2 diabetic (T2D) subjects.
Methods: Myotube cultures were established from lean and obese control subjects, and obese T2D subjects and treated with soluble FA1 for 4 days supplemented with/without palmitate (PA). Lipid- and glucose metabolism were studied with labeled precursors while quantitative expression of genes was analyzed using real-time PCR.
Results: Diabetic myotubes express significantly reduced insulin stimulated glucose metabolism compared to lean myotubes and a significantly decreased basal PA oxidation. Chronic FA1 exposure did not affect the intermediary metabolism in myotubes. Insulin sensitivity of glucose and lipid metabolism was not affected by chronic FA1 exposure in myotubes established from lean, obese, and T2D subjects. Instead, chronic FA1 exposure induced pro-inflammatory cytokines expression (IL-6 and CCL2) in association with reducing adipogenic markers (ADD1, AP2, CD36, and PPARg2) in myotubes. Consistent with this observation, addition of FA1 to cultured myotubes was show to significantly inhibit their differentiation into adipocyte.
Conclusion: Our results exclude direct effects of FA1 on glucose and lipid metabolism in cultured myotubes established from lean, obese, and T2D subjects. Therefore, the pathogenesis of FA1-induced IR might mainly be mediated via the FA1-induced stimulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which on turn inhibit adipogenesis in human myotubes.
PMCID: PMC3617402  PMID: 23577002
Dlk1; FA1; Pref-1; insulin resistance; human myotubes; obesity; skeletal muscle; type 2 diabetes
12.  Genome-Wide Analysis of DNA Methylation Differences in Muscle and Fat from Monozygotic Twins Discordant for Type 2 Diabetes 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e51302.
Monozygotic twins discordant for type 2 diabetes constitute an ideal model to study environmental contributions to type 2 diabetic traits. We aimed to examine whether global DNA methylation differences exist in major glucose metabolic tissues from these twins.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Skeletal muscle (n = 11 pairs) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (n = 5 pairs) biopsies were collected from 53–80 year-old monozygotic twin pairs discordant for type 2 diabetes. DNA methylation was measured by microarrays at 26,850 cytosine-guanine dinucleotide (CpG) sites in the promoters of 14,279 genes. Bisulfite sequencing was applied to validate array data and to quantify methylation of intergenic repetitive DNA sequences. The overall intra-pair variation in DNA methylation was large in repetitive (LINE1, D4Z4 and NBL2) regions compared to gene promoters (standard deviation of intra-pair differences: 10% points vs. 4% points, P<0.001). Increased variation of LINE1 sequence methylation was associated with more phenotypic dissimilarity measured as body mass index (r = 0.77, P = 0.007) and 2-hour plasma glucose (r = 0.66, P = 0.03) whereas the variation in promoter methylation did not associate with phenotypic differences. Validated methylation changes were identified in the promoters of known type 2 diabetes-related genes, including PPARGC1A in muscle (13.9±6.2% vs. 9.0±4.5%, P = 0.03) and HNF4A in adipose tissue (75.2±3.8% vs. 70.5±3.7%, P<0.001) which had increased methylation in type 2 diabetic individuals. A hypothesis-free genome-wide exploration of differential methylation without correction for multiple testing identified 789 and 1,458 CpG sites in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue, respectively. These methylation changes only reached some percentage points, and few sites passed correction for multiple testing.
Our study suggests that likely acquired DNA methylation changes in skeletal muscle or adipose tissue gene promoters are quantitatively small between type 2 diabetic and non-diabetic twins. The importance of methylation changes in candidate genes such as PPARGC1A and HNF4A should be examined further by replication in larger samples.
PMCID: PMC3519577  PMID: 23251491
13.  A prospective study of twinning and perinatal mortality in urban Guinea-Bissau 
Despite twinning being common in Africa, few prospective twin studies have been conducted. We studied twinning rate, perinatal mortality and the clinical characteristics of newborn twins in urban Guinea-Bissau.
The study was conducted at the Bandim Health Project (BHP), a health and demographic surveillance site in Bissau, the capital of Guinea-Bissau. The cohort included all newborn twins delivered at the National Hospital Simão Mendes and in the BHP study area during the period September 2009 to August 2011 as well as singleton controls from the BHP study area. Data regarding obstetric history and pregnancy were collected at the hospital. Live children were examined clinically. For a subset of twin pairs zygosity was established by using genetic markers.
Out of the 5262 births from mothers included in the BHP study area, 94 were twin births, i.e. a community twinning rate of 18/1000. The monozygotic rate was 3.4/1000. Perinatal mortality among twins vs. singletons was 218/1000 vs. 80/1000 (RR = 2.71, 95% CI: 1.93-3.80). Among the 13783 hospital births 388 were twin births (28/1000). The hospital perinatal twin mortality was 237/1000.
Birth weight < 2000g (RR = 4.24, CI: 2.39-7.51) and caesarean section (RR = 1.78, CI: 1.06-2.99) were significant risk factors for perinatal twin mortality. Male sex (RR = 1.38, CI: 0.97-1.96), unawareness of twin pregnancy (RR = 1.64, CI: 0.97-2.78) and high blood pressure during pregnancy (RR = 1.77, CI: 0.88-3.57) were borderline non-significant. Sixty-five percent (245/375) of the mothers who delivered at the hospital were unaware of their twin pregnancy.
Twins had a very high perinatal mortality, three-fold higher than singletons. A birth weight < 2000g was the strongest risk factor for perinatal death, and unrecognized twin pregnancy was common. Urgent interventions are needed to lower perinatal twin mortality in Guinea-Bissau.
PMCID: PMC3534574  PMID: 23216795
14.  The LiP (Lifestyle in Pregnancy) Study 
Diabetes Care  2011;34(12):2502-2507.
To study the effects of lifestyle intervention on gestational weight gain (GWG) and obstetric outcomes.
The LiP (Lifestyle in Pregnancy) study was a randomized controlled trial in 360 obese women allocated in early pregnancy to lifestyle intervention or control. The intervention program included dietary guidance, free membership in fitness centers, physical training, and personal coaching.
A total of 360 obese pregnant women were included, and 304 (84%) were followed up until delivery. The intervention group had a significantly lower median (range) GWG compared with the control group of 7.0 (4.7–10.6) vs. 8.6 kg (5.7–11.5; P = 0.01). The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendations on GWG were exceeded in 35.4% of women in the intervention group compared with 46.6% in the control group (P = 0.058). Overall, the obstetric outcomes between the two groups were not significantly different.
Lifestyle intervention in pregnancy resulted in limited GWG in obese pregnant women. Overall obstetric outcomes were similar in the two groups. Lifestyle intervention resulted in a higher adherence to the IOM weight gain recommendations; however, a significant number of women still exceeded the upper threshold.
PMCID: PMC3220844  PMID: 21972411
15.  The Danish Centre for Strategic Research in Type 2 Diabetes (DD2) Project: rationale and planned nationwide studies of genetic predictors, physical exercise, and individualized pharmacological treatment 
Clinical Epidemiology  2012;4(Suppl 1):7-13.
Here we provide an overview of the rationale and methods of a series of planned population based studies within the Danish Centre for Strategic Research in Type 2 Diabetes (DD2) Project. The project aims to support and evaluate ongoing political and administrative efforts to implement nationwide guidelines for maintaining metabolic control in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients to prevent diabetic complications and improve quality of life. The DD2 is designed as a prospective cohort study (collection of epidemiological data) supplemented by randomized clinical intervention trials (on physical exercise and individualized pharmacological treatment) and the establishment of a biobank comprised of material from a large number of newly diagnosed T2D patients. Inclusion of the majority of newly diagnosed T2D patients as they are diagnosed at their general practitioner or diabetes hospital outpatient clinics and entered into the DD2 cohort will establish a nationwide database comprising a large number of future incident cases of T2D in Denmark. These cases will form the project cohort of the DD2. Within the first 6 months of diagnosis, all patients will be invited to contribute to a biobank of DNA, plasma, urine, and tissue sampling. The DNA biobank will enable future studies of the effect of pharmacological treatment and outcome in subsets of patients with specific genetic risk profiles covering disease etiology and specific drug kinetics and metabolism. We will also perform two clinical intervention trials examining: the effectiveness of physical exercise on diabetes-related outcomes and the impact of trial outcomes on individualized pharmacological treatment. Moreover, the DD2 will serve as a platform for testing and developing new antidiabetic drugs. All together, we expect this study to contribute to substantially improved diabetes care in T2D patients locally and abroad.
PMCID: PMC3469285  PMID: 23071406
type 2 diabetes; prognosis; intervention; physical exercise
16.  The Danish Centre for Strategic Research in Type 2 Diabetes (DD2) study: expected outcome from the DD2 project and two intervention studies 
Clinical Epidemiology  2012;4(Suppl 1):21-26.
The overall aim of the Danish Centre for Strategic Research in Type 2 Diabetes (DD2) is to near-normalize metabolic control in newly diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) using an individualized treatment approach. We hypothesize that this will not only prevent complications and improve quality of life for T2D patients but also result in increased cost efficiency compared with current treatment modalities. This paper provides an overview of the expected outcomes from DD2, focusing on the two main intervention studies. The main data for the DD2 project are collected during patient enrollment and stored using the individual civil registration number. This enables subsequent linking to other national databases where supplemental data can be obtained. All data will be used for designing treatment guidelines and continuously monitoring the development of diabetic complications, thereby obtaining knowledge about predictors for the long-term outcome and identifying targets for new interventions. Further data are being collected from two intervention studies. The aim of the first intervention study is to improve T2D treatment using an individualized treatment modality optimizing medication according to individual metabolic responses and phenotypic characteristics. The aim of the second intervention study is to develop an evidence-based training protocol to be implemented as a treatment modality for T2D and used for initiating lifelong changes in physical activity levels in patients with T2D. An initial pilot study evaluating an interval-based walking protocol is ongoing, and preliminary results indicate that this protocol is an optimal “free-living” training intervention. An initial health-economic analysis will also be performed as a basis for analysis of the data collected during the project. A cost-benefit analysis of the two intervention studies will be conducted. The DD2 project is expected to lead to improved treatment modalities and increased knowledge about existing treatment guidelines, and will also provide a solid base for health-economic decision-making.
PMCID: PMC3469286  PMID: 23071408
type 2 diabetes; epidemiological methods; exercise intervention; clinical intervention; individualized treatment; treatment guidelines
18.  A prospective randomised cross-over study of the effect of insulin analogues and human insulin on the frequency of severe hypoglycaemia in patients with type 1 diabetes and recurrent hypoglycaemia (the HypoAna trial): study rationale and design 
Severe hypoglycaemia still represents a significant problem in insulin-treated diabetes. Most patients do not experience severe hypoglycaemia often. However, 20% of patients with type 1 diabetes experience recurrent severe hypoglycaemia corresponding to at least two episodes per year. The effect of insulin analogues on glycaemic control has been documented in large trials, while their effect on the frequency of severe hypoglycaemia is less clear, especially in patients with recurrent severe hypoglycaemia. The HypoAna Trial is designed to investigate whether short-acting and long-acting insulin analogues in comparison with human insulin are superior in reducing the occurrence of severe hypoglycaemic episodes in patients with recurrent hypoglycaemia. This paper reports the study design of the HypoAna Trial.
The study is a Danish two-year investigator-initiated, prospective, randomised, open, blinded endpoint (PROBE), multicentre, cross-over trial investigating the effect of insulin analogues versus human insulin on the frequency of severe hypoglycaemia in subjects with type 1 diabetes. Patients are randomised to treatment with basal-bolus therapy with insulin detemir / insulin aspart or human NPH insulin / human regular insulin in random order. The major inclusion criterion is history of two or more episodes of severe hypoglycaemia in the preceding year.
In contrast to almost all other studies in this field the HypoAna Trial includes only patients with major problems with hypoglycaemia. The HypoAna Trial will elucidate whether basal-bolus regimen with short-acting and long-acting insulin analogues in comparison with human insulin are superior in reducing occurrence of severe hypoglycaemic episodes in hypoglycaemia prone patients with type 1 diabetes. NCT00346996.
PMCID: PMC3433358  PMID: 22727048
Type 1 diabetes; Severe hypoglycaemia; Human insulin; Insulin analogues; PROBE
19.  Self-Management Support to People with Type 2 Diabetes - A comparative study of Kaiser Permanente and the Danish Healthcare System 
Self-management support is considered to be an essential part of diabetes care. However, the implementation of self-management support within healthcare settings has appeared to be challenging and there is increased interest in “real world” best practice examples to guide policy efforts. In order to explore how different approaches to diabetes care and differences in management structure influence the provision of SMS we selected two healthcare systems that have shown to be comparable in terms of budget, benefits and entitlements. We compared the extent of SMS provided and the self-management behaviors of people living with diabetes in Kaiser Permanente (KP) and the Danish Healthcare System (DHS).
Self-administered questionnaires were used to collect data from a random sample of 2,536 individuals with DM from KP and the DHS in 2006–2007 to compare the level of SMS provided in the two systems and identify disparities associated with educational attainment. The response rates were 75 % in the DHS and 56 % in KP. After adjusting for gender, age, educational level, and HbA1c level, multiple linear regression analyses determined the level of SMS provided and identified disparities associated with educational attainment.
Receipt of SMS varied substantially between the two systems. More people with diabetes in KP reported receiving all types of SMS and use of SMS tools compared to the DHS (p < .0001). Less than half of all respondents reported taking diabetes medication as prescribed and following national guidelines for exercise.
Despite better SMS support in KP compared to the DHS, self-management remains an under-supported area of care for people receiving care for diabetes in the two health systems. Our study thereby suggests opportunity for improvements especially within the Danish healthcare system and systems adopting similar SMS support strategies.
PMCID: PMC3441680  PMID: 22697597
Self-management support; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Health system; International comparison
20.  Incidence and Prevalence of Unrecognized Myocardial Infarction in People With Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2011;34(6):1394-1396.
To examine the prevalence and incidence of unrecognized myocardial infarction in a contemporary population with type 2 diabetes.
We performed a retrospective analysis of the electrocardiograms (ECGs) recorded at baseline and after 2 years for the first 1,004 type 2 diabetic individuals to be randomized in the Rosiglitazone Evaluated for Cardiac Outcomes and Regulation of Glycemia in Diabetes (RECORD) study.
ECGs suitable for analysis were obtained from 669 participants. The prevalence of unrecognized Q-wave myocardial infarction at baseline was 1.9% (n = 13). The incidence of unrecognized Q-wave myocardial infarction at the end of 2 years of follow-up was 1.5/1,000-person-years (n = 2). One-third (13 of 39) of prevalent and one-quarter (2 of 8) of incident myocardial infarctions were unrecognized.
Although the prevalence and incidence of myocardial infarction was low, unrecognized Q-wave myocardial infarctions made up a substantial proportion of all events.
PMCID: PMC3114348  PMID: 21562320
21.  Pharmacological Treatment of the Pathogenetic Defects in Type 2 Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2010;34(1):27-33.
To determine the effect of treatment with insulin aspart compared with NPH insulin, together with metformin/placebo and rosiglitazone/placebo. The hypothesis was that combined correction of major pathogenetic defects in type 2 diabetes would result in optimal glycemic control.
This study was a 2-year investigator-driven randomized partly placebo-controlled multicenter trial in 371 patients with type 2 diabetes on at least oral antiglycemic treatment. Patients were assigned to one of eight treatment groups in a factorial design with insulin aspart at mealtimes versus NPH insulin once daily at bedtime, metformin twice daily versus placebo, and rosiglitazone twice daily versus placebo. The main outcome measurement was change in A1C.
A1C decreased more in patients treated with insulin aspart compared with NPH (−0.41 ± 0.10%, P < 0.001). Metformin decreased A1C compared with placebo (−0.60 ± 0.10%, P < 0.001), as did rosiglitazone (−0.55 ± 0.10%, P < 0.001). Triple therapy (rosiglitazone, metformin, and any insulin) resulted in a greater reduction in A1C than rosiglitazone plus insulin (−0.50 ± 0.14%, P < 0.001) and metformin plus insulin (−0.45 ± 0.14%, P < 0.001). Aspart was associated with a higher increase in body weight (1.6 ± 0.6 kg, P < 0.01) and higher incidence of mild daytime hypoglycemia (4.9 ± 7.5 vs. 1.7 ± 5.4 number/person/year, P < 0.001) compared with NPH.
Insulin treatment of postprandial hyperglycemia results in lower A1C than treatment of fasting hyperglycemia, at the expense of higher body weight and hypoglycemic episodes. However, insulin therapy has to be combined with treatment of both peripheral and liver insulin resistance to normalize blood glucose, and in this case, the insulin regimen is less important.
PMCID: PMC3005476  PMID: 20929990
22.  Plasma osteoprotegerin is related to carotid and peripheral arterial disease, but not to myocardial ischemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus 
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is frequent in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients due to accelerated atherosclerosis. Plasma osteoprotegerin (OPG) has evolved as a biomarker for CVD. We examined the relationship between plasma OPG levels and different CVD manifestations in type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes patients without known CVD referred consecutively to a diabetes clinic for the first time (n = 305, aged: 58.6 ± 11.3 years, diabetes duration: 4.5 ± 5.3 years) were screened for carotid arterial disease, peripheral arterial disease, and myocardial ischemia by means of carotid artery ultrasonography, peripheral ankle and toe systolic blood pressure measurements, and myocardial perfusion scintigraphy (MPS). In addition, plasma OPG concentrations and other CVD-related markers were measured.
The prevalence of carotid arterial disease, peripheral arterial disease, and myocardial ischemia was 42%, 15%, and 30%, respectively. Plasma OPG was significantly increased in patients with carotid and peripheral arterial disease compared to patients without (p < 0.001, respectively), however, this was not the case for patients with myocardial ischemia versus those without (p = 0.71). When adjusted for age, HbA1c and U-albumin creatinine ratio in a multivariate logistic regression analysis, plasma OPG remained strongly associated with carotid arterial disease (adjusted OR: 2.12; 95% CI: 1.22-3.67; p = 0.008), but not with peripheral arterial disease or myocardial ischemia.
Increased plasma OPG concentration is associated with carotid and peripheral arterial disease in patients with type 2 diabetes, whereas no relation is observed with respect to myocardial ischemia on MPS. The reason for this discrepancy is unknown.
Trial registration number
at NCT00298844
PMCID: PMC3163516  PMID: 21838881
23.  The SNARE Protein SNAP23 and the SNARE-Interacting Protein Munc18c in Human Skeletal Muscle Are Implicated in Insulin Resistance/Type 2 Diabetes 
Diabetes  2010;59(8):1870-1878.
Our previous studies suggest that the SNARE protein synaptosomal-associated protein of 23 kDa (SNAP23) is involved in the link between increased lipid levels and insulin resistance in cardiomyocytes. The objective was to determine whether SNAP23 may also be involved in the known association between lipid accumulation in skeletal muscle and insulin resistance/type 2 diabetes in humans, as well as to identify a potential regulator of SNAP23.
We analyzed skeletal muscle biopsies from patients with type 2 diabetes and healthy, insulin-sensitive control subjects for expression (mRNA and protein) and intracellular localization (subcellular fractionation and immunohistochemistry) of SNAP23, and for expression of proteins known to interact with SNARE proteins. Insulin resistance was determined by a euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp. Potential mechanisms for regulation of SNAP23 were also investigated in the skeletal muscle cell line L6.
We showed increased SNAP23 levels in skeletal muscle from patients with type 2 diabetes compared with that from lean control subjects. Moreover, SNAP23 was redistributed from the plasma membrane to the microsomal/cytosolic compartment in the patients with the type 2 diabetes. Expression of the SNARE-interacting protein Munc18c was higher in skeletal muscle from patients with type 2 diabetes. Studies in L6 cells showed that Munc18c promoted the expression of SNAP23.
We have translated our previous in vitro results into humans by showing that there is a change in the distribution of SNAP23 to the interior of the cell in skeletal muscle from patients with type 2 diabetes. We also showed that Munc18c is a potential regulator of SNAP23.
PMCID: PMC2911056  PMID: 20460426
24.  Microalbuminuria, Preeclampsia, and Preterm Delivery in Pregnant Women With Type 1 Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2009;33(1):90-94.
To study the association between microalbuminuria and development of preeclampsia and preterm delivery in pregnant women with type 1 diabetes.
This was a population-based prospective study in 846 normoalbuminuric or microalbuminuric women with type 1 diabetes without antihypertensive treatment in early pregnancy. Data were collected prospectively by one to three caregivers in each center and reported to a central registry.
The prevalence of microalbuminuria in the first trimester was 10%, median diabetes duration was 11 years, and third-trimester A1C was 6.6%. The frequencies of preeclampsia and preterm delivery before 34 weeks in the microalbuminuric group were 40 and 13%, both significantly higher than those in the normoalbuminuric group (12 and 6%, respectively, P < 0.001). After adjustments for possible confounders, significant predictors for development of preeclampsia were microalbuminuria (odds ratio 4.0 [95% CI]), nulliparity (3.1 [1.9–5.1]), and third-trimester A1C (1.3 [1.1–1.5] per 1% increase). Delivery before 34 weeks was associated with early microalbuminuria in univariate analyses, but in multivariate analyses A1C was the only significant predictor of this outcome. Preeclampsia was associated with a threefold higher risk of delivery before 34 weeks.
The presence of microalbuminuria in early pregnancy is associated with a fourfold increased risk of developing preeclampsia. A1C values during pregnancy are highly predictive of both preeclampsia and preterm delivery. Future research with antihypertensive treatment in normotensive, microalbuminuric pregnant women to prevent preeclampsia is proposed.
PMCID: PMC2797993  PMID: 19846800
25.  Insulin Resistance Is Not Conserved in Myotubes Established from Women with PCOS 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(12):e14469.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder among premenopausal women, who often develop insulin resistance. We tested the hypothesis that insulin resistance in skeletal muscle of patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an intrinsic defect, by investigating the metabolic characteristics and gene expression of in vitro differentiated myotubes established from well characterized PCOS subjects.
Using radiotracer techniques, RT-PCR and enzyme kinetic analysis we examined myotubes established from PCOS subjects with or without pioglitazone treatment, versus healthy control subjects who had been extensively metabolically characterized in vivo. Results Myotubes established from PCOS and matched control subjects comprehensively expressed all insulin-sensitive biomarkers; glucose uptake and oxidation, glycogen synthesis and lipid uptake. There were no significant differences between groups either at baseline or during acute insulin stimulation, although in vivo skeletal muscle was insulin resistant. In particular, we found no evidence for defects in insulin-stimulated glycogen synthase activity between groups. Myotubes established from PCOS patients with or without pioglitazone treatment also showed no significant differences between groups, neither at baseline nor during acute insulin stimulation, although in vivo pioglitazone treatment significantly improved insulin sensitivity. Consistently, the myotube cultures failed to show differences in mRNA levels of genes previously demonstrated to differ in PCOS patients with or without pioglitazone treatment (PLEK, SLC22A16, and TTBK).
These results suggest that the mechanisms governing insulin resistance in skeletal muscle of PCOS patients in vivo are not primary, but rather adaptive.
Trial Registration NCT00145340
PMCID: PMC3012693  PMID: 21209881

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