The incidence of the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is rising worldwide. Liver-derived fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-21 affects glucose and lipid metabolism. The aim of this study was to analyze the predictive value of FGF-21 on the incidence of T2DM and the metabolic syndrome.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
The Metabolic Syndrome Berlin Potsdam (MeSyBePo) recall study includes 440 individuals. Glucose metabolism was analyzed using an oral glucose tolerance test, including insulin measurements. FGF-21 was measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Primary study outcome was diabetes and the metabolic syndrome incidence and change of glucose subtraits.
During a mean follow-up of 5.30 ± 0.1 years, 54 individuals developed the metabolic syndrome, 35 developed T2DM, and 69 with normal glucose tolerance at baseline progressed to impaired glucose metabolism, defined as impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, or T2DM. FGF-21 predicted incident metabolic syndrome (lnFGF-21 odds ratio [OR] 2.6 [95% CI 1.5 – 4.5]; P = 0.001), T2DM (2.4 [1.2–4.7]; P = 0.01), and progression to impaired glucose metabolism (2.2 [1.3 – 3.6]; P = 0.002) after adjustment for age, sex, BMI, and follow-up time. Additional adjustment for waist-to-hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and fasting glucose did not substantially modify the predictive value of FGF-21.
FGF-21 is an independent predictor of the metabolic syndrome and T2DM in apparently healthy Caucasians. These results may indicate FGF-21 resistance precedes the onset of the metabolic syndrome and T2DM.