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2.  Prevalence of microalbuminuria, arterial hypertension, retinopathy, and neuropathy in patients with insulin dependent diabetes 
Diabetic nephropathy is the main cause of the increased morbidity and mortality in patients with insulin dependent diabetes. The prevalence of microalbuminuria was determined in adults with insulin dependent diabetes of five or more years' duration that had started before the age of 41. All eligible patients (n=982) attending a diabetes clinic were asked to collect a 24 hour urine sample for analysis of albumin excretion by radio-immunoassay; 957 patients complied. Normoalbuminuria was defined as urinary albumin excretion of ≤30 mg/24 h (n=562), microalbuminuria as 31-299 mg/24 h (n=215), and macroalbuminuria as ≥300 mg/24 h (n=180). The prevalence of microalbuminuria and macroalbuminuria was significantly higher in patients whose diabetes had developed before rather than after the age of 20. The prevalence of arterial hypertension increased with increased albuminuria, being 19%, 30%, and 65% in patients with normoalbuminuria, microalbuminuria, and macroalbuminuria respectively. The prevalence of proliferative retinopathy and blindness rose with increasing albuminuria, being 12% and 1·4%, respectively, in patients with normoalbuminuria, 28% and 5·6% in those with microalbuminuria and 58% and 10·6% in those with macroalbuminuria. An abnormal vibratory perception threshold was more common in patients with microalbuminuria (31%) and macroalbuminuria (50%) than in those with normoalbuminuria (21%).
This study found a high prevalence (22%) of microalbuminuria, which is predictive of the later development of diabetic nephropathy. Microalbuminuria is also characterised by an increased prevalence of arterial hypertension, proliferative retinopathy, blindness, and peripheral neuropathy. Thus, urinary excretion of albumin should be monitored routinely in patients with insulin dependent diabetes.
PMCID: PMC2544895  PMID: 3122980
3.  Bardoxolone Methyl in Type 2 Diabetes and Stage 4 Chronic Kidney Disease 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(26):2492-2503.
BACKGROUND
Although inhibitors of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system can slow the progression of diabetic kidney disease, the residual risk is high. Whether nuclear 1 factor (erythroid-derived 2)–related factor 2 activators further reduce this risk is unknown.
METHODS
We randomly assigned 2185 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and stage 4 chronic kidney disease (estimated glomerular filtration rate [GFR], 15 to <30 ml per minute per 1.73 m2 of body-surface area) to bardoxolone methyl, at a daily dose of 20 mg, or placebo. The primary composite outcome was end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or death from cardiovascular causes.
RESULTS
The sponsor and the steering committee terminated the trial on the recommendation of the independent data and safety monitoring committee; the median follow-up was 9 months. A total of 69 of 1088 patients (6%) randomly assigned to bardoxolone methyl and 69 of 1097 (6%) randomly assigned to placebo had a primary composite outcome (hazard ratio in the bardoxolone methyl group vs. the placebo group, 0.98; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.70 to 1.37; P = 0.92). In the bardoxolone methyl group, ESRD developed in 43 patients, and 27 patients died from cardiovascular causes; in the placebo group, ESRD developed in 51 patients, and 19 patients died from cardiovascular causes. A total of 96 patients in the bardoxolone methyl group were hospitalized for heart failure or died from heart failure, as compared with 55 in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.32 to 2.55; P<0.001). Estimated GFR, blood pressure, and the urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio increased significantly and body weight decreased significantly in the bardoxolone methyl group, as compared with the placebo group.
CONCLUSIONS
Among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and stage 4 chronic kidney disease, bardoxolone methyl did not reduce the risk of ESRD or death from cardiovascular causes. A higher rate of cardiovascular events with bardoxolone methyl than with placebo prompted termination of the trial. (Funded by Reata Pharmaceuticals; BEACON ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01351675.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1306033
PMCID: PMC4496027  PMID: 24206459
4.  Are human endogenous retroviruses triggers of autoimmune diseases? Unveiling associations of three diseases and viral loci 
Immunologic Research  2015;64:55-63.
Autoimmune diseases encompass a plethora of conditions in which the immune system attacks its own tissue, identifying them as foreign. Multiple factors are thought to contribute to the development of immune response to self, including differences in genotypes, hormonal milieu, and environmental factors. Viruses including human endogenous retroviruses have long been linked to the occurrence of autoimmunity, but never proven to be causative factors. Endogenous viruses are retroviral sequences embedded in the host germline DNA and transmitted vertically through successive generations in a Mendelian manner. In this study by means of genetic epidemiology, we have searched for the involvement of endogenous retroviruses in three selected autoimmune diseases: multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes mellitus, and rheumatoid arthritis. We found that at least one human endogenous retroviral locus was associated with each of the three diseases. Although there was a significant overlap, most loci only occurred in one of the studied disease. Remarkably, within each disease, there was a statistical interaction (synergy) between two loci. Additional synergy between retroviral loci and human lymphocyte antigens is reported for multiple sclerosis. We speculate the possibility that recombinants or mixed viral particles are formed and that the resulting viruses stimulate the innate immune system, thereby initiating the autoimmune response.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12026-015-8671-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s12026-015-8671-z
PMCID: PMC4726719  PMID: 26091722
Multiple sclerosis; Type 1 diabetes mellitus; Rheumatoid arthritis; Synergy; Single nucleotide polymorphisms
5.  Additive prognostic value of plasma N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide and coronary artery calcification for cardiovascular events and mortality in asymptomatic patients with type 2 diabetes 
Background
In patients with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the major cause of morbidity and mortality. We evaluated the combination of NT-proBNP and coronary artery calcium score (CAC) for prediction of combined fatal and non-fatal CVD and mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes and microalbuminuria (>30 mg/24-h), but without known coronary artery disease. Moreover, we assessed the predictive value of a predefined categorisation of patients into a high- and low-risk group at baseline.
Methods
Prospective study including 200 patients. All received intensive multifactorial treatment. Patients with baseline NT-proBNP >45.2 ng/L and/or CAC ≥400 were stratified as high-risk patients (n = 133). Occurrence of fatal- and nonfatal CVD (n = 40) and mortality (n = 26), was traced after 6.1 years (median).
Results
High-risk patients had a higher risk of the composite CVD endpoint (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 10.6 (95 % confidence interval [CI] 2.4-46.3); p = 0.002) and mortality (adjusted HR 5.3 (95 % CI 1.2-24.0); p = 0.032) compared to low-risk patients. In adjusted continuous analysis, both higher NT-proBNP and CAC were strong predictors of the composite CVD endpoint and mortality (p ≤ 0.0001). In fully adjusted models mutually including NT-proBNP and CAC, both risk factors remained associated with risk of CVD and mortality (p ≤ 0.022). There was no interaction between NT-proBNP and CAC for the examined endpoints (p ≥ 0.31).
Conclusions
In patients with type 2 diabetes and microalbuminuria but without known coronary artery disease, NT-proBNP and CAC were strongly associated with fatal and nonfatal CVD, as well as with mortality. Their additive prognostic capability holds promise for identification of patients at high risk.
doi:10.1186/s12933-015-0225-0
PMCID: PMC4489401  PMID: 25990319
6.  Direct renin inhibition in chronic kidney disease 
For approximately 6 years, the only commercially available direct renin inhibitor, aliskiren, which inhibits the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system at the initial rate limiting step, has been marketed for the treatment of hypertension. Concurrently, much attention has been given to the possibility that renin inhibition could hold potential for improved treatment in patients with chronic kidney disease, with diabetic nephropathy as an obvious group of patients to investigate, as the activity of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system is enhanced in these patients and as there is an unmet need for improved treatment and prognosis in these patients. Several short term studies have been performed in diabetic nephropathy, showing a consistent effect on the surrogate endpoint lowering of albuminuria, both as monotherapy and in combination with other blockers of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. In addition, combination treatment also seemed safe and effective in patients with impaired kidney function. These initial findings formed the basis for the design of a large morbidity and mortality trial investigating aliskiren as add-on to standard treatment. The study has just concluded, but was terminated early as a beneficial effect was unlikely and there was an increased frequency of side effects. Also in non-diabetic kidney disease a few intervention studies have been carried out, but there is no ongoing hard outcome study. In this review we provide the current evidence for renin inhibition in chronic kidney disease by reporting the studies published so far as well as a perspective on the future possibilites.
doi:10.1111/bcp.12072
PMCID: PMC3791981  PMID: 23278708
albuminuria; aliskiren; chronic kidney disease; diabetes; nephropathy; renin inhibition
7.  Vitamin D Levels and Asymptomatic Coronary Artery Disease in Type 2 Diabetic Patients With Elevated Urinary Albumin Excretion Rate 
Diabetes Care  2011;35(1):168-172.
OBJECTIVE
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in type 2 diabetic patients. Severe vitamin D deficiency has been shown to predict cardiovascular mortality in type 2 diabetic patients.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We investigated the association among severe vitamin D deficiency, coronary calcium score (CCS), and asymptomatic CAD in type 2 diabetic patients with elevated urinary albumin excretion rate (UAER) >30 mg/24 h. This was a cross-sectional study including 200 type 2 diabetic patients without a history of CAD. Severe vitamin D deficiency was defined as plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (p-25[OH]D3) <12.5 nmol/L. Patients with plasma N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide >45.2 ng/L or CCS ≥400 were stratified as being high risk for CAD (n= 133). High-risk patients were examined by myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI; n = 109), computed tomography angiography (n = 20), or coronary angiography (CAG; n = 86). Patients’ p-25(OH)D3 levels were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry.
RESULTS
The median (range) vitamin D level was 36.9 (3.8–118.6) nmol/L. The prevalence of severe vitamin D deficiency was 9.5% (19/200). MPI or CAG demonstrated significant CAD in 70 patients (35%). The prevalence of CCS ≥400 was 34% (68/200). Severe vitamin D deficiency was associated with CCS ≥400 (odds ratio [OR] 4.3, 95% CI [1.5–12.1], P = 0.005). This association persisted after adjusting for risk factors (4.6, 1.5–13.9, P = 0.007). Furthermore, severe vitamin D deficiency was associated with asymptomatic CAD (adjusted OR 2.9, 1.02–7.66, P = 0.047).
CONCLUSIONS
In high-risk type 2 diabetic patients with elevated UAER, low levels of vitamin D are associated with asymptomatic CAD.
doi:10.2337/dc11-1372
PMCID: PMC3241314  PMID: 22040839
8.  Genetic Examination of SETD7 and SUV39H1/H2 Methyltransferases and the Risk of Diabetes Complications in Patients With Type 1 Diabetes 
Diabetes  2011;60(11):3073-3080.
OBJECTIVE
Hyperglycemia plays a pivotal role in the development and progression of vascular complications, which are the major sources of morbidity and mortality in diabetes. Furthermore, these vascular complications often persist and progress despite improved glucose control, possibly as a result of prior episodes of hyperglycemia. Epigenetic modifications mediated by histone methyltransferases are associated with gene-activating events that promote enhanced expression of key proinflammatory molecules implicated in vascular injury. In this study, we investigated genetic polymorphisms of the SETD7, SUV39H1, and SUV39H2 methyltransferases as predictors of risk for micro- and macrovascular complications in type 1 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
In the Finnish Diabetic Nephropathy Study (FinnDiane) cohort, 37 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in 2,991 individuals with type 1 diabetes and diabetic retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy, and cardiovascular disease. Seven SNPs were genotyped in the replication cohorts from the Steno Diabetes Center and All Ireland/Warren 3/Genetics of Kidneys in Diabetes (GoKinD) U.K. study.
RESULTS
In a meta-analysis, the minor T allele of the exonic SNP rs17353856 in the SUV39H2 was associated with diabetic retinopathy (genotypic odds ratio 0.75, P = 1.2 × 10−4). The same SNP showed a trend toward an association with diabetic nephropathy as well as cardiovascular disease in the FinnDiane cohort.
CONCLUSIONS
Our findings propose that a genetic variation in a gene coding for a histone methyltransferase is protective for a diabetic microvascular complication. The pathophysiological implications of this polymorphism or other genetic variation nearby for the vascular complications of type 1 diabetes remain to be investigated.
doi:10.2337/db11-0073
PMCID: PMC3198095  PMID: 21896933
9.  Plasma NT-proBNP and white matter hyperintensities in type 2 diabetic patients 
Abstract
Elevated plasma N-terminal (NT)-proBNP from the heart as well as white matter hyperintensities (WMH) in the brain predict cardiovascular (CV) mortality in the general population. The cause of poor prognosis associated with elevated P-NT-proBNP is not known but WMH precede strokes in high risk populations. We assessed the association between P-NT-proBNP and WMH or brain atrophy measured with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in type 2 diabetic patients, and age-matched controls.
Methods and results
We measured P-NT-proBNP(ng/l) in 20 diabetic patients without prior stroke but with(n = 10) or without(n = 10) asymptomatic coronary artery disease(CAD) in order to include patients with a wide-ranging CV risk profile. All patients and 26 controls had a 3D MRI and brain volumes(ml) with WMH and brain parenchymal fraction(BPF), an indicator of brain atrophy, were determined.
P-NT-proBNP was associated with WMH in linear regression analysis adjusted for CV risk factors(r = 0.94, p = 0.001) and with BPF in univariate analysis(r = 0.57, p = 0.009). Patients divided into groups of increased P-NT-proBNP levels were paralleled with increased WMH volumes(geometric mean[SD];(2.86[5.11] ml and 0.76[2.49] ml compared to patients with low P-NT-proBNP 0.20[2.28] ml, p = 0.003)) and also when adjusted for age, sex and presence of CAD(p = 0.017). The association was strengthened by CV risk factors and we did not find a common heart or brain specific driver of both P-NT-proBNP and WMH. Patients and particular patients with CAD had higher WMH, however no longer after adjustment for age and sex.
Conclusion
P-NT-proBNP was associated with WMH in type 2 diabetic patients, suggesting a linkage between heart and brain disease.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-119
PMCID: PMC3503686  PMID: 23033840
Type 2 diabetes; Plasma NT-proBNP; 3-D magnetic resonance imaging; White matter hyperintensities; Brain parenchymal fraction
10.  New Susceptibility Loci Associated with Kidney Disease in Type 1 Diabetes 
Sandholm, Niina | Salem, Rany M. | McKnight, Amy Jayne | Brennan, Eoin P. | Forsblom, Carol | Isakova, Tamara | McKay, Gareth J. | Williams, Winfred W. | Sadlier, Denise M. | Mäkinen, Ville-Petteri | Swan, Elizabeth J. | Palmer, Cameron | Boright, Andrew P. | Ahlqvist, Emma | Deshmukh, Harshal A. | Keller, Benjamin J. | Huang, Huateng | Ahola, Aila J. | Fagerholm, Emma | Gordin, Daniel | Harjutsalo, Valma | He, Bing | Heikkilä, Outi | Hietala, Kustaa | Kytö, Janne | Lahermo, Päivi | Lehto, Markku | Lithovius, Raija | Österholm, Anne-May | Parkkonen, Maija | Pitkäniemi, Janne | Rosengård-Bärlund, Milla | Saraheimo, Markku | Sarti, Cinzia | Söderlund, Jenny | Soro-Paavonen, Aino | Syreeni, Anna | Thorn, Lena M. | Tikkanen, Heikki | Tolonen, Nina | Tryggvason, Karl | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Wadén, Johan | Gill, Geoffrey V. | Prior, Sarah | Guiducci, Candace | Mirel, Daniel B. | Taylor, Andrew | Hosseini, S. Mohsen | Parving, Hans-Henrik | Rossing, Peter | Tarnow, Lise | Ladenvall, Claes | Alhenc-Gelas, François | Lefebvre, Pierre | Rigalleau, Vincent | Roussel, Ronan | Tregouet, David-Alexandre | Maestroni, Anna | Maestroni, Silvia | Falhammar, Henrik | Gu, Tianwei | Möllsten, Anna | Cimponeriu, Danut | Ioana, Mihai | Mota, Maria | Mota, Eugen | Serafinceanu, Cristian | Stavarachi, Monica | Hanson, Robert L. | Nelson, Robert G. | Kretzler, Matthias | Colhoun, Helen M. | Panduru, Nicolae Mircea | Gu, Harvest F. | Brismar, Kerstin | Zerbini, Gianpaolo | Hadjadj, Samy | Marre, Michel | Groop, Leif | Lajer, Maria | Bull, Shelley B. | Waggott, Daryl | Paterson, Andrew D. | Savage, David A. | Bain, Stephen C. | Martin, Finian | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Godson, Catherine | Florez, Jose C. | Groop, Per-Henrik | Maxwell, Alexander P.
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(9):e1002921.
Diabetic kidney disease, or diabetic nephropathy (DN), is a major complication of diabetes and the leading cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) that requires dialysis treatment or kidney transplantation. In addition to the decrease in the quality of life, DN accounts for a large proportion of the excess mortality associated with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Whereas the degree of glycemia plays a pivotal role in DN, a subset of individuals with poorly controlled T1D do not develop DN. Furthermore, strong familial aggregation supports genetic susceptibility to DN. However, the genes and the molecular mechanisms behind the disease remain poorly understood, and current therapeutic strategies rarely result in reversal of DN. In the GEnetics of Nephropathy: an International Effort (GENIE) consortium, we have undertaken a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of T1D DN comprising ∼2.4 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) imputed in 6,691 individuals. After additional genotyping of 41 top ranked SNPs representing 24 independent signals in 5,873 individuals, combined meta-analysis revealed association of two SNPs with ESRD: rs7583877 in the AFF3 gene (P = 1.2×10−8) and an intergenic SNP on chromosome 15q26 between the genes RGMA and MCTP2, rs12437854 (P = 2.0×10−9). Functional data suggest that AFF3 influences renal tubule fibrosis via the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β1) pathway. The strongest association with DN as a primary phenotype was seen for an intronic SNP in the ERBB4 gene (rs7588550, P = 2.1×10−7), a gene with type 2 diabetes DN differential expression and in the same intron as a variant with cis-eQTL expression of ERBB4. All these detected associations represent new signals in the pathogenesis of DN.
Author Summary
The global prevalence of diabetes has reached epidemic proportions, constituting a major health care problem worldwide. Diabetic kidney disease, or diabetic nephropathy (DN)—the major long term microvascular complication of diabetes—is associated with excess mortality among patients with type 1 diabetes. Even though DN has been shown to cluster in families, the underlying genetic and molecular pathways remain poorly defined. We have undertaken the largest genome-wide association study and meta-analysis to date on DN and on its most severe form of kidney disease, end-stage renal disease (ESRD). We identified new loci significantly associated with diabetic ESRD: AFF3 and an intergenic locus on chromosome 15q26 residing between RGMA and MCTP2. Our functional analyses suggest that AFF3 influences renal tubule fibrosis, a pathological hallmark of severe DN. Another locus in ERBB4 was suggestively associated with DN and resides in the same intronic region as a variant affecting the expression of ERBB4. Subsequent pathway analysis of the genes co-expressed with ERBB4 indicated involvement of fibrosis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002921
PMCID: PMC3447939  PMID: 23028342
11.  Initial Angiotensin Receptor Blockade–Induced Decrease in Albuminuria Is Associated With Long-Term Renal Outcome in Type 2 Diabetic Patients With Microalbuminuria 
Diabetes Care  2011;34(9):2078-2083.
OBJECTIVE
We aimed to investigate the individual impact of initial responses in urinary albumin excretion (UAE) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) to angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) treatment on long-term renal outcome in patients with type 2 diabetes and microalbuminuria.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
In a post hoc analysis of the Irbesartan in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Microalbuminuria (IRMA)-2 trial we first assessed the individual variability in UAE and SBP response (0–6 months) in 531 subjects. Subsequently, we analyzed the individual effect of both response parameters on renal outcome defined as change in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) during 2 years of follow-up.
RESULTS
The median reductions in UAE and SBP in the population were −18% and −11 mmHg, respectively. In irbesartan-treated patients, 85 (24.4%) had a robust (>median) reduction in UAE but not in SBP (discordant SBP response) and 67 (19.3%) had a robust (>median) reduction in SBP but not in UAE (discordant UAE response). The degree of reduction in UAE was independently associated with the rate of eGFR decline (P = 0.0037). SBP showed a similar trend (P = 0.087). The relation between a larger UAE reduction and a slower rate of renal function decline was present in both cohorts with a SBP change above and below the median.
CONCLUSIONS
Within an individual, UAE response to ARB therapy may be discordant from SBP response. The initial change in UAE was independently associated with eGFR slope; the more UAE reduction the less eGFR decline, irrespective of the SBP change. These results suggest that in microalbuminuric patients with type 2 diabetes, UAE should be monitored after initiation of therapy and a separate target for renoprotective therapy.
doi:10.2337/dc11-0324
PMCID: PMC3161288  PMID: 21788629
12.  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 
Background
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.
Methods/design
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.
Discussion
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. http://www.clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00346996.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-12-10
PMCID: PMC3433358  PMID: 22727048
Type 1 diabetes; Severe hypoglycaemia; Human insulin; Insulin analogues; PROBE
13.  Long-Term Effects of Irbesartan Treatment and Smoking on Nucleic Acid Oxidation in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes and Microalbuminuria 
Diabetes Care  2011;34(5):1192-1198.
OBJECTIVE
We tested whether long-term treatment with the angiotensin II receptor antagonist irbesartan reduces nucleic acid oxidation in patients with type 2 diabetes and microalbuminuria.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
The Irbesartan in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes and Microalbuminuria (IRMA 2) study was a 2-year multicenter randomized double-blind trial comparing irbesartan (150 and 300 mg once daily) with placebo. We studied a subgroup of 50 patients where urine samples were available for analysis of albumin and the oxidatively modified guanine nucleosides 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) and 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanosine (8-oxoGuo).
RESULTS
During the 2-year trial, no significant differences in 8-oxodG and 8-oxoGuo excretions between placebo and irbesartan treatment were seen. 8-oxodG and albumin excretion decreased with time (P = 0.0004 and P < 0.0001, respectively), whereas treatment-related differences were shown for albumin excretion (P = 0.0008) only, as previously reported. Important secondary findings were significant associations between changes in 8-oxodG excretion and changes in albumin excretion and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c). During the study period, 8-oxodG excretion decreased by 3 and 26% in smokers and nonsmokers, respectively (P = 0.015), and urinary albumin excretion decreased 22% in smokers and 58% in nonsmokers (P = 0.011).
CONCLUSIONS
Irbesartan treatment was not significantly more effective than placebo in reducing nucleic acid oxidation. The results indicate that DNA oxidation in diabetes patients is reduced by various components in the treatment of diabetes where glycemic control seems to be important and addition of angiotensin II receptor antagonists does not lead to any substantial additional reduction. Furthermore, the reductions in DNA oxidation and albumin excretion seem to be counteracted by smoking.
doi:10.2337/dc10-2214
PMCID: PMC3114487  PMID: 21454798
14.  Vitamin D Levels, Microvascular Complications, and Mortality in Type 1 Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2011;34(5):1081-1085.
OBJECTIVE
To evaluate vitamin D as a predictor of all-cause mortality, progression from normoalbuminuria to micro- or macroalbuminuria, and the development of background or proliferative retinopathy in patients with type 1 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
A prospective observational follow-up study in which an inception cohort of type 1 diabetic patients was followed from onset of diabetes diagnosed between 1979 and 1984. Plasma vitamin D [25(OH)D3] levels were determined by high performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry in 227 patients before the patients developed microalbuminuria. Values equal to or below the 10% percentile (15.5 nmol/L) were considered severe vitamin D deficiency.
RESULTS
Median (range) vitamin D was 44.6 (1.7–161.7) nmol/L. Vitamin D level was not associated with age, sex, urinary albumin excretion rate (UAER), or blood pressure. During follow-up, 44 (18%) patients died. In a Cox proportional hazards model, the hazard ratio for mortality in subjects with severe vitamin D deficiency was 2.7 (1.1–6.7), P = 0.03, after adjustment for UAER, HbA1c, and conventional cardiovascular risk factors (age, sex, blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking). Of the 220 patients, 81 (37%) developed microalbuminuria and 27 (12%) of these progressed to macroalbuminuria. Furthermore, 192 (87%) patients developed background retinopathy, whereas 34 (15%) progressed to proliferative retinopathy. Severe vitamin D deficiency at baseline did not predict the development of these microvascular complications.
CONCLUSIONS
In patients with type 1 diabetes, severe vitamin D deficiency independently predicts all-cause mortality but not development of microvascular complications in the eye and kidney. Whether vitamin D substitution in type 1 diabetic patients can improve the prognosis remains to be investigated.
doi:10.2337/dc10-2459
PMCID: PMC3114500  PMID: 21525501
15.  NT-proBNP, echocardiographic abnormalities and subclinical coronary artery disease in high risk type 2 diabetic patients 
Background
Intensive multifactorial treatment aimed at prevention of cardiovascular (CV) disease may reduce left ventricular (LV) echocardiographic abnormalities in diabetic subjects. Plasma N-terminal (NT)-proBNP predicts CV mortality in diabetic patients but the association between P-NT-proBNP and the putative residual abnormalities in such patients are not well described. This study examined echocardiographic measurements of LV hypertrophy, atrial dilatation and LV dysfunction and their relation to P-NT-proBNP levels or subclinical coronary artery disease (CAD) in type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria receiving intensive multifactorial treatment.
Methods
Echocardiography including tissue Doppler imaging and P-NT-proBNP measurements were performed in 200 patients without prior CAD. Patients with P-NT-proBNP > 45.2 ng/L and/or coronary calcium score ≥ 400 were stratified as high risk patients for CAD(n = 133) and examined for significant CAD by myocardial perfusion imaging and/or CT-angiography and/or coronary angiography.
Results
LV mass index was 41.2 ± 10.9 g/m2.7 and 48 (24%) patients had LV hypertrophy. LA and RA dilatation were found in 54(27%) and 45(23%) patients, respectively, and LV diastolic dysfunction was found in 109(55%) patients. Patients with increased P-NT-proBNP levels did not have more major echocardiographic abnormalities. In 70(53%) of 133 high risk patients significant CAD was demonstrated and patients with LV hypertrophy had increased risk of significant CAD(adjusted odd ratio[CI] was 4.53[1.14-18.06]).
Conclusion
Among asymptomatic type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria that received intensive multifactorial treatment, P-NT-proBNP levels is not associated with echocardiographic abnormalities. LV diastolic dysfunction was frequently observed, whereas LV hypertrophy was less frequent but associated with significant CAD.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-19
PMCID: PMC3310741  PMID: 22390472
16.  Higher Plasma Levels of Advanced Glycation End Products Are Associated With Incident Cardiovascular Disease and All-Cause Mortality in Type 1 Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2011;34(2):442-447.
OBJECTIVE
To investigate the associations of plasma levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) with incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality in type 1 diabetes and the extent to which any such associations could be explained by endothelial and renal dysfunction, low-grade inflammation, and arterial stiffness.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We prospectively followed 169 individuals with diabetic nephropathy and 170 individuals with persistent normoalbuminuria who were free of CVD at study entry and in whom levels of Nε-(carboxymethyl)lysine, Nε-(carboxyethyl)lysine, pentosidine and other biomarkers were measured at baseline. The median follow-up duration was 12.3 (interquartile range 7.6–12.5) years.
RESULTS
During the course of follow-up, 82 individuals (24.2%) died; 85 (25.1%) suffered a fatal (n = 48) and/or nonfatal (n = 53) CVD event. The incidence of fatal and nonfatal CVD and of all-cause mortality increased with higher baseline levels of AGEs independently of traditional CVD risk factors: hazard ratio (HR) = 1.30 (95% CI = 1.03–1.66) and HR = 1.27 (1.00–1.62), respectively. These associations were not attenuated after further adjustments for markers of renal or endothelial dysfunction, low-grade inflammation, or arterial stiffness.
CONCLUSIONS
Higher levels of AGEs are associated with incident fatal and nonfatal CVD as well as all-cause mortality in individuals with type 1 diabetes, independently of other risk factors and of several potential AGEs-related pathophysiological mechanisms. Thus, AGEs may explain, in part, the increased cardiovascular disease and mortality attributable to type 1 diabetes and constitute a specific target for treatment in these patients.
doi:10.2337/dc10-1087
PMCID: PMC3024364  PMID: 21270199
17.  Osteoprotegerin and Mortality in Type 2 Diabetic Patients 
Diabetes Care  2010;33(12):2561-2566.
OBJECTIVE
Plasma osteoprotegerin (OPG) is an emerging strong and independent predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in high-risk populations. OPG is a bone-related glycopeptide produced by vascular smooth muscle cells, and increased plasma OPG levels may reflect arterial vascular damage. We aimed to investigate the prognostic value of OPG in relation to all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in a cohort of type 2 diabetic patients.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
In a prospective observational follow-up study, 283 type 2 diabetic patients (172 men; aged 53.9 ± 8.8 years) were followed for a median of 16.8 years (range 0.2–23.0). Baseline plasma OPG concentrations were determined by immunoassay.
RESULTS
During follow-up, 193 (68%) patients died. High versus low levels of OPG predicted all-cause mortality (covariate-adjusted for urinary albumin excretion rate [UAER], estimated glomerular filtration rate, and conventional risk factors); hazard ratio (HR) 1.81 [95% CI 1.21–2.69]. The all-cause predictive effect of OPG was independent of NH2-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and was also useful within groups divided according to level of UAER. In total, 103 (73%) patients died because of CVD. High and medium versus low levels of OPG predicted cardiovascular mortality (unadjusted HR 1.86 [95% CI 1.07–3.23] and 3.51 [2.10–5.85], respectively). However, after adjustment for the covariates, HRs were no longer significant.
CONCLUSIONS
Elevated plasma OPG is a strong predictor of all-cause mortality in type 2 diabetic patients. The effect of OPG on all-cause mortality was independent of conventional cardiovascular risk factors, UAER, and NT-proBNP levels.
doi:10.2337/dc10-0858
PMCID: PMC2992191  PMID: 20929997
18.  Impact of Baseline Renal Function on the Efficacy and Safety of Aliskiren Added to Losartan in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes and Nephropathy 
Diabetes Care  2010;33(11):2304-2309.
OBJECTIVE
Proteinuric diabetic patients with reduced glomerular filtration rate (GFR) are at high risk of renal and cardiovascular disease progression and treatment-related adverse events. This post hoc analysis assessed the efficacy and safety of aliskiren added to the maximal recommended dose of losartan according to baseline estimated GFR (eGFR) (stage 1–3 chronic kidney disease [CKD]).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
In the Aliskiren in the Evaluation of Proteinuria in Diabetes (AVOID) study, 599 hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes and nephropathy received 6 months of aliskiren (150 mg daily titrated to 300 mg daily after 3 months) or placebo added to 100 mg losartan and optimal antihypertensive therapy. Exclusion criteria included eGFR <30 ml/min per 1.73 m2 and serum potassium >5.1 mmol/l.
RESULTS
Baseline characteristics were similar between treatment groups in all CKD stages. The antiproteinuric effects of aliskiren were consistent across CKD stages (19, 22, and 18% reduction). In the stage 3 CKD group, baseline serum creatinine levels were equal, but renal dysfunction, prespecified as a postrandomization serum creatinine elevation >176.8 μmol/l (2.0 mg/dl) occurred more frequently in the placebo group (29.2 vs. 13.6%, P = 0.032). Serum potassium elevations >5.5 mmol/l (based on a single measurement) were more frequent with aliskiren (22.5 vs. 13.6%) in stage 3 CKD. Adverse event rates were similar between treatments, irrespective of CKD stage.
CONCLUSIONS
Aliskiren added to losartan reduced albuminuria and renal dysfunction and was well tolerated, except for hyperkalemia (stage 3), independent of baseline CKD stage in patients with type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and nephropathy.
doi:10.2337/dc10-0833
PMCID: PMC2963484  PMID: 20693353
19.  Renal Dysfunction in the Presence of Normoalbuminuria in Type 2 Diabetes: Results from the DEMAND Study 
Cardiorenal Medicine  2011;2(1):1-10.
Background/Aims
Microalbuminuria is associated with diabetes and is an independent risk factor for developing diabetic nephropathy. We have previously reported the overall prevalence of normoalbuminuria, microalbuminuria, and macroalbuminuria to be 51, 39, and 9.8%, respectively, in an unselected population of patients with type 2 diabetes. Renal dysfunction was present in a large proportion of these patients without proteinuria, assessed by a single random albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR). We therefore undertook to characterize the nature of this association of non-proteinuric renal dysfunction in type 2 diabetes.
Methods
In the DEMAND (Developing Education on Microalbuminuria for Awareness of Renal and Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes) study, a global, cross-sectional study which described the prevalence and risk factors for albuminuria in a clinic-based cohort, kidney function was assessed in 11,573 patients; ACR was measured using the Bayer reagent strip Multistix® 10SG. Normoalbuminuria was defined as ACR <30 mg/g, microalbuminuria as 30–299 mg/g, and macroalbuminuria as >300 mg/g.
Results
Among the patients with estimated kidney function determined, chronic kidney disease was noted in 17% of those with normoalbuminuria (stage 3–5), and significant kidney dysfunction was found in 27% of those with microalbuminuria and 31% of those with overt proteinuria. CrCl was <60 ml/min in 20.5% of normoalbuminurics, 30.7% of microalbuminurics, and 35.0% of macroalbuminurics (p < 0.0001).
Conclusion
A large proportion of diabetic patients with completely normal urinary albumin excretion or microalbuminuria presented with significant kidney dysfunction. Therefore, further investigation is warranted.
doi:10.1159/000333249
PMCID: PMC3318932  PMID: 22493597
Albuminuria; Chronic kidney disease; Diabetes; Diabetic nephropathy; Normoalbuminuria; Proteinuria
20.  Vitamin D Levels and Mortality in Type 2 Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2010;33(10):2238-2243.
OBJECTIVE
To evaluate vitamin D as a predictor of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality and risk of progression to micro- or macroalbuminuria in type 2 diabetic patients.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
In a longitudinal observational follow-up study, 289 type 2 diabetic patients with normoalbuminuria (n = 172), microalbuminuria (n = 73), and macroalbuminuria (n = 44) at baseline were followed for a median (range) of 15.0 (0.2–23) years. Mean ± SD age was 54 ± 9 years. Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry on baseline samples. Severe vitamin D deficiency was defined as the lower 10th percentile (<13.9 nmol/l).
RESULTS
Median (range) vitamin D level was 35.7 (5–136.7) nmol/l. Vitamin D levels were not associated with age, sex, estimated glomerular filtration rate, urinary albumin excretion rate (UAER), or A1C at baseline, but low levels were weakly associated with elevated systolic blood pressure (R = 0.13, P = 0.03). During follow-up, 196 (68%) patients died. All-cause mortality was increased in patients with severe vitamin D deficiency (hazard ratio 1.96 [95% CI 1.29–2.98]). The association persisted after adjustment for UAER, A1C, diabetes duration, and conventional cardiovascular risk factors (2.03 [1.31–3.13]). Severe vitamin D deficiency was associated with increased cardiovascular mortality (1.95 [1.11–3.44]), and the association persisted after adjustment (1.90 [1.15–3.10]). Severe vitamin D deficiency at baseline did not predict progression to micro- or macroalbuminuria.
CONCLUSIONS
In type 2 diabetic patients, severe vitamin D deficiency predicts increased risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, independent of UAER and conventional cardiovascular risk factors. Whether vitamin D substitution improves prognosis remains to be investigated.
doi:10.2337/dc10-0582
PMCID: PMC2945166  PMID: 20606205
21.  Novel Susceptibility Locus at 22q11 for Diabetic Nephropathy in Type 1 Diabetes 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(9):e24053.
Background
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) affects about 30% of patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and contributes to serious morbidity and mortality. So far only the 3q21–q25 region has repeatedly been indicated as a susceptibility region for DN. The aim of this study was to search for new DN susceptibility loci in Finnish, Danish and French T1D families.
Methods and Results
We performed a genome-wide linkage study using 384 microsatellite markers. A total of 175 T1D families were studied, of which 94 originated from Finland, 46 from Denmark and 35 from France. The whole sample set consisted of 556 individuals including 42 sib-pairs concordant and 84 sib-pairs discordant for DN. Two-point and multi-point non-parametric linkage analyses were performed using the Analyze package and the MERLIN software. A novel DN locus on 22q11 was identified in the joint analysis of the Finnish, Danish and French families by genome-wide multipoint non-parametric linkage analysis using the Kong and Cox linear model (NPLpairs LOD score 3.58). Nominal or suggestive evidence of linkage to this locus was also detected when the three populations were analyzed separately. Suggestive evidence of linkage was found to six additional loci in the Finnish and French sample sets.
Conclusions
This study identified a novel DN locus at chromosome 22q11 with significant evidence of linkage to DN. Our results suggest that this locus may be of importance in European populations. In addition, this study supports previously indicated DN loci on 3q21–q25 and 19q13.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024053
PMCID: PMC3164698  PMID: 21909410
22.  NT-proBNP levels, atherosclerosis and vascular function in asymptomatic type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria: peripheral reactive hyperaemia index but not NT-proBNP is an independent predictor of coronary atherosclerosis 
Intensive multifactorial treatment aimed at cardiovascular (CV) risk factor reduction in type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria can diminish fatal and non-fatal CV. Plasma N-terminal (NT)-proBNP predicts CV mortality in diabetic patients but the utility of P-NT-proBNP in screening for atherosclerosis is unclear. We examined the interrelationship between P-NT-proBNP, presence of atherosclerosis and/or vascular dysfunction in the coronary, carotid and peripheral arteries in asymptomatic type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria that received intensive multifactorial treatment.
Methods and Results
P-NT-proBNP was measured in 200 asymptomatic type 2 patients without known cardiac disease that received intensive multifactorial treatment for CV risk reduction. Patients were examined for coronary, carotid and peripheral atherosclerosis, as defined by coronary calcium score ≥400, carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) > 0.90 mm, ankle-brachial index < 0.90, and/or toe-brachial index < 0.64, respectively. Carotid artery compliance was also determined and the reactive hyperaemia index (RHI) measured by peripheral artery tonometry was used as a surrogate for endothelial function.
P-NT-proBNP was associated with atherosclerosis in the unadjusted analysis, but not after adjustment for conventional risk factors. P-NT-proBNP was not associated with vascular dysfunction. The prevalence of atherosclerosis in the coronary, carotid and peripheral arteries was 35%, 10% and 21% of all patients, respectively. In total 49% had atherosclerosis in one territory and 15.6% and 1.0% in two and three territories. Low RHI was an independent predictor of coronary atherosclerosis (odds ratio [CI], 2.60 [1.15-5.88] and systolic blood pressure was the only independent determinant of CIMT (0.02 mm increase in CIMT per 10 mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure [p = 0.003]).
Conclusions
Half of asymptomatic patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and microalbuminuria had significant atherosclerosis in at least one vascular territory despite receiving intensive multifactorial treatment for CV risk reduction. Coronary atherosclerosis was most prevalent, whereas carotid disease was more rarely observed. RHI but not plasma NT-proBNP was predictive of coronary atherosclerosis.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-10-71
PMCID: PMC3164620  PMID: 21812947
23.  Higher Plasma Soluble Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products (sRAGE) Levels Are Associated With Incident Cardiovascular Disease and All-Cause Mortality in Type 1 Diabetes 
Diabetes  2010;59(8):2027-2032.
OBJECTIVE
To investigate the associations of plasma levels of soluble receptor for advanced glycation end products (sRAGE) with incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality in type 1 diabetes and the extent to which any such associations could be explained by endothelial and renal dysfunction, low-grade inflammation, arterial stiffness, and advanced glycation end products (AGEs).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We prospectively followed 169 individuals with diabetic nephropathy and 170 individuals with persistent normoalbuminuria who were free of CVD at study entry and in whom levels of sRAGE and other biomarkers were measured at baseline. The median follow-up duration was 12.3 years (7.6–12.5).
RESULTS
The incidence of fatal and nonfatal CVD and all-cause mortality increased with higher baseline levels of log-transformed sRAGE (Ln-sRAGE) independently of other CVD risk factors: hazard ratio (HR) 1.90 (95% CI 1.13–3.21) and 2.12 (1.26–3.57) per 1-unit increase in Ln-sRAGE, respectively. Adjustments for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFRMDRD), but not or to a smaller extent for markers of endothelial dysfunction, low-grade inflammation, arterial stiffness, and AGEs, attenuated these associations to HR 1.59 (95% CI 0.91–2.77) for fatal and nonfatal CVD events and to 1.90 (1.09–3.31) for all-cause mortality. In addition, in patients with nephropathy, the rate of decline of GFR was 1.38 ml/min/1.73 m2 per year greater per 1-unit increase of Ln-sRAGE at baseline (P = 0.036).
CONCLUSIONS
Higher levels of sRAGE are associated with incident fatal and nonfatal CVD and all-cause mortality in individuals with type 1 diabetes. sRAGE-associated renal dysfunction may partially explain this association.
doi:10.2337/db09-1509
PMCID: PMC2911054  PMID: 20522598
24.  Osteoprotegerin and coronary artery disease in type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria 
Objective
Plasma osteoprotegerin (P-OPG) is an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease in diabetic and other populations. OPG is a bone-related glycopeptide produced by vascular smooth muscle cells and increased P-OPG may reflect arterial damage. We investigated the correlation between P-OPG and coronary artery disease (CAD) in asymptomatic type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria.
Methods
P-OPG was measured in 200 asymptomatic diabetic patients without known cardiac disease. Patients with P-NT-proBNP >45.2 ng/l and/or coronary calcium score (CCS) ≥400 were stratified as high risk of CAD (n = 133), and all other patients as low risk patients (n = 67). High risk patients were examined by myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI; n = 109), and/or CT-angiography (n = 20), and/or coronary angiography (CAG; n = 86). Significant CAD was defined by presence of significant myocardial perfusion defects at MPI and/or >70% coronary artery stenosis at CAG.
Results
Significant CAD was demonstrated in 70 of the high risk patients and of these 23 patients had >70% coronary artery stenosis at CAG. Among high risk patients, increased P-OPG was an independent predictor of significant CAD (adjusted odds ratio [CI] 3.11 [1.01-19.54] and 3.03 [1.00-9.18] for second and third tertile vs.first tertile P-OPG, respectively) and remained so after adjustments for NT-proBNP and CCS. High P-OPG was also associated with presence of >70% coronary artery stenosis(adjusted odds ratio 14.20 [1.35-148.92] for third vs. first tertile P-OPG), and 91% of patients with low (first tertile) P-OPG did not have >70% coronary artery stenosis.
Conclusions
Elevated P-OPG is an independent predictor of the presence of CAD in asymptomatic type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-10-70
PMCID: PMC3162489  PMID: 21801376
25.  Plasma Growth Differentiation Factor-15 Independently Predicts All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality As Well As Deterioration of Kidney Function in Type 1 Diabetic Patients With Nephropathy 
Diabetes Care  2010;33(7):1567-1572.
OBJECTIVE
Growth deferentiation factor-15 (GDF-15) is involved in inflammation and apoptosis. Expression is induced in the heart in response to ischemia and in atherosclerotic plaques. The aim of this study was to investigate GDF-15 levels in relation to all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality and morbidity, decline in glomerular filtration rate (GFR), and progression toward end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
The study was a prospective observational follow-up study including 451 type 1 diabetic patients with diabetic nephropathy (274 men, aged 42.1 ± 0.5 years [means ± SD], diabetes duration 28.3 ± 8.9 years, GFR 76 ± 33 ml/min/1.73 m2) and a control group of 440 patients with longstanding type 1 diabetes and persistent normoalbuminuria (232 men, aged 45.4 ± 11.5 years, duration of diabetes 27.7 ± 10.1 years). The patients were followed for 8.1 (0.0–12.9) years (median [range]).
RESULTS
Among normoalbuminuric patients, GDF-15 above the median predicted an adjusted (age, systolic blood pressure [sBP], and estimated GFR) increased risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 3.6 [95% CI 1.3–10.3]; P = 0.014). Among patients with diabetic nephropathy, higher (fourth quartile) versus lower (first quartile) GDF-15 levels predict all-cause mortality (covariate-adjusted [sex, age, smoking, blood pressure, A1C, cholesterol, GFR, N-terminal prohormone B-type natriuretic peptide, antihypertensive treatment, and previous cardiovascular events]; HR 4.86 [95% CI 1.37–17.30]) as well as fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events (adjusted HR 5.59 [1.23–25.43] and 3.55 [1.08–11.64], respectively). In addition, higher GDF-15 levels predict faster decline in GFR (P < 0.001) but not development of ESRD.
CONCLUSIONS
Higher levels of GDF-15 are a predictor of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality and morbidity in patients with diabetic nephropathy. Furthermore, higher levels of GDF-15 are associated with faster deterioration of kidney function.
doi:10.2337/dc09-2174
PMCID: PMC2890360  PMID: 20357380

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