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1.  The impact of a reduced dose of dexamethasone on glucose control after coronary artery bypass surgery 
Background
Intensive insulin therapy to maintain normoglycemia after cardiac surgery reduces morbidity and mortality. We investigated the magnitude and duration of hyperglycemia caused by dexamethasone administered after cardiopulmonary bypass.
Methods
A single-center before-after cohort study was performed. All consecutive patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting with cardiopulmonary bypass during a 6-month period were included. Insulin administration was guided by a sliding scale protocol. Halfway the observation period, the dexamethasone protocol was changed. The single dose (1D) group received a pre-operative dose of dexamethasone of 1 mg/kg. The double dose group (2D) received an additional dose of 0.5 mg/kg of dexamethasone post-operatively at ICU admission.
Results
We included 116 patients in the 1D group and 158 patients in the 2D group. There were no significant baseline differences between the groups. Median Euroscore was 5. In univariable analysis, the glucose level was different between groups 1D and 2D at 4, 6, 9, 12 and 24 hours after ICU admission (all p < 0.001). Insulin infusion was higher in the 1D group. Corrected for insulin dose in multivariable linear analysis, the difference in glucose between the 1D and 2D groups was 1.5 mmol/L (95% confidence interval 1.0–2.0, p < 0.001) 12 hours after ICU admission.
Conclusion
Dexamethasone exerts a hyperglycemic effect in cardiac surgery patients. Patients receiving high-dose corticosteroid therapy should be monitored and treated more intensively for hyperglycemic episodes.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-39
PMCID: PMC2235839  PMID: 18086312
2.  Maximal exercise test is a useful method for physical capacity and oxygen consumption determination in streptozotocin-diabetic rats 
Background
The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between speed during maximum exercise test (ET) and oxygen consumption (VO2) in control and STZ-diabetic rats, in order to provide a useful method to determine exercise capacity and prescription in researches involving STZ-diabetic rats.
Methods
Male Wistar rats were divided into two groups: control (CG, n = 10) and diabetic (DG, n = 8). The animals were submitted to ET on treadmill with simultaneous gas analysis through open respirometry system. ET and VO2 were assessed 60 days after diabetes induction (STZ, 50 mg/Kg).
Results
VO2 maximum was reduced in STZ-diabetic rats (72.5 ± 1 mL/Kg/min-1) compared to CG rats (81.1 ± 1 mL/Kg/min-1). There were positive correlations between ET speed and VO2 (r = 0.87 for CG and r = 0.8 for DG), as well as between ET speed and VO2 reserve (r = 0.77 for CG and r = 0.7 for DG). Positive correlations were also obtained between measured VO2 and VO2 predicted values (r = 0.81 for CG and r = 0.75 for DG) by linear regression equations to CG (VO2 = 1.54 * ET speed + 52.34) and DG (VO2 = 1.16 * ET speed + 51.99). Moreover, we observed that 60% of ET speed corresponded to 72 and 75% of VO2 reserve for CG and DG, respectively. The maximum ET speed was also correlated with VO2 maximum for both groups (CG: r = 0.7 and DG: r = 0.7).
Conclusion
These results suggest that: a) VO2 and VO2 reserve can be estimated using linear regression equations obtained from correlations with ET speed for each studied group; b) exercise training can be prescribed based on ET in control and diabetic-STZ rats; c) physical capacity can be determined by ET. Therefore, ET, which involves a relatively simple methodology and low cost, can be used as an indicator of cardio-respiratory capacity in future studies that investigate the physiological effect of acute or chronic exercise in control and STZ-diabetic male rats.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-38
PMCID: PMC2222609  PMID: 18078520
3.  Impacts of chronic kidney disease and albuminuria on associations between coronary heart disease and its traditional risk factors in type 2 diabetic patients – the Hong Kong diabetes registry 
Background
Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), blood pressure and body mass index (BMI) are risk factors for albuminuria, the latter in turn can lead to hyperlipidaemia. We used novel statistical analyses to examine how albuminuria and chronic kidney disease (CKD) may influence the effects of other risk factors on coronary heart disease (CHD).
Methods
A prospective cohort of 7067 Chinese type 2 diabetic patients without history of CHD enrolled since 1995 were censored on July 30th, 2005. Cox proportional hazard regression with restricted cubic spline was used to auto-select predictors. Hazard ratio plots were used to examine the risk of CHD. Based on these plots, non-linear risk factors were categorised and the categorised variables were refitted into various Cox models in a stepwise manner to confirm the findings.
Results
Age, male gender, duration of diabetes, spot urinary albumin: creatinine ratio, estimated glomerular filtration rate, total cholesterol (TC), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and current smoking status were risk factors of CHD. Linear association between TC and CHD was observed only in patients with albuminuria. Although in general, increased HDL-C was associated with decreased risk of CHD, full-range HDL-C was associated with CHD in an A-shaped manner with a zenith at 1.1 mmol/L. Albuminuria and CKD were the main contributors for the paradoxically positive association between HDL-C and CHD for HDL-C values less than 1.1 mmol/L.
Conclusion
In type 2 diabetes, albuminuria plays a linking role between conventional risk factors and CHD. The onset of CKD changes risk associations between lipids and CHD.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-37
PMCID: PMC2219954  PMID: 18053157
4.  Effect of the angiotensin receptor blocker irbesartan on metabolic parameters in clinical practice: the DO-IT prospective observational study 
Aims
A number of intervention studies have shown that therapy with angiotensin receptor blockers, such as irbesartan, can improve metabolic parameters and reduce the incidence of diabetes mellitus. It is unknown whether this observation also holds true in routine clinical settings.
Methods
We evaluated the effect of irbesartan (150 mg or 300 mg/d) together with or without hydrochlorothiazide (12.5 mg/d) in 3259 German patients. A total of 750 primary care physicians evaluated up to 5 subsequent patients with metabolic syndrome (58.9% diabetic), in whom irbesartan therapy was newly initiated (87%) or continued (13%).
Results
Six months of irbesartan therapy decreased systolic blood pressure by 14% (157.4 ± 14.7 vs. 135.0 ± 10.7 mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure by 13% (92.9 ± 9.2 vs. 80.8 ± 6.8 mmHg). This was associated with a decrease in body weight (-2.3%), fasting glucose (-9.5%), HbA1c (-4.6%), LDL-cholesterol (-11%), triglycerides (-16%) and gamma-GT (-12%) and an increase in HDL-cholesterol (+5%). These changes were somewhat more pronounced in male than in female patients and in obese than in lean patients. Changes in glucose concentration and HbA1c were much more prominent in diabetic patients.
Conclusion
Irbesartan therapy improves metabolic parameters in routine clinical settings. Thus, our study confirms previously published results from large intervention trials and extends the findings to routine clinical practice.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-36
PMCID: PMC2211461  PMID: 18042288
5.  Maternal diabetes induces congenital heart defects in mice by altering the expression of genes involved in cardiovascular development 
Background
Congenital heart defects are frequently observed in infants of diabetic mothers, but the molecular basis of the defects remains obscure. Thus, the present study was performed to gain some insights into the molecular pathogenesis of maternal diabetes-induced congenital heart defects in mice.
Methods and results
We analyzed the morphological changes, the expression pattern of some genes, the proliferation index and apoptosis in developing heart of embryos at E13.5 from streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. Morphological analysis has shown the persistent truncus arteriosus combined with a ventricular septal defect in embryos of diabetic mice. Several other defects including defective endocardial cushion (EC) and aberrant myofibrillogenesis have also been found. Cardiac neural crest defects in experimental embryos were analyzed and validated by the protein expression of NCAM and PGP 9.5. In addition, the protein expression of Bmp4, Msx1 and Pax3 involved in the development of cardiac neural crest was found to be reduced in the defective hearts. The mRNA expression of Bmp4, Msx1 and Pax3 was significantly down-regulated (p < 0.001) in the hearts of experimental embryos. Further, the proliferation index was significantly decreased (p < 0.05), whereas the apoptotic cells were significantly increased (p < 0.001) in the EC and the ventricular myocardium of the experimental embryos.
Conclusion
It is suggested that the down-regulation of genes involved in development of cardiac neural crest could contribute to the pathogenesis of maternal diabetes-induced congenital heart defects.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-34
PMCID: PMC2176054  PMID: 17967198
6.  The possible role of the ubiquitin proteasome system in the development of atherosclerosis in diabetes 
We have reviewed the impact of the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) on atherosclerosis progression of diabetic patients. A puzzle of many pieces of evidence suggests that UPS, in addition to its role in the removal of damaged proteins, is involved in a number of biological processes including inflammation, proliferation and apoptosis, all of which constitute important characteristics of atherosclerosis. From what can be gathered from the very few studies on the UPS in diabetic cardiovascular diseases published so far, the system seems to be functionally active to a different extent in the initiation, progression, and complication stage of atherosclerosis in the diabetic people. Further evidence for this theory, however, has to be given, for instance by specifically targeted antagonism of the UPS. Nonetheless, this hypothesis may help us understand why diverse therapeutic interventions, which have in common the ability to reduce ubiquitin-proteasome activity, can impede or delay the onset of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (CVD).
People with type 2 diabetes are disproportionately affected by CVD, compared with those without diabetes [1]. The prevalence, incidence, and mortality from all forms of CVD (myocardial infarction, cerebro-vascular disease and congestive heart failure) are strikingly increased in persons with diabetes compared with those withoutdiabetes [2]. Furthermore, diabetic patients have not benefited by the advances in the management of obesity, dyslipidemia, and hypertension that have resulted in a decrease in mortality for coronary heart disease (CHD) patients without diabetes [3]. Nevertheless, these risk factors do not fully explain the excess risk for CHD associated with diabetes [4,5]. Thus, the determinants of progression of atherosclerosis in persons with diabetes must be elucidated. Beyond the major risk factors, several studies have demonstrated that such factors, strictly related to diabetes, as insulin-resistance, post-prandial hyperglycemia and chronic hyperglycemia play a role in the atherosclerotic process and may require intervention [6,7]. Moreover, it is important to recognize that these risk factors frequently "cluster" inindividual patients and possibly interact with each other, favouring the atherosclerosis progression toward plaque instability. Thus, a fundamental question is, "which is the common soil hypothesis that may unifying the burden of all these factors on atherosclerosis of diabetic patients? Because evidences suggest that insulin-resistance, diabetes and CHD share in common a deregulation of ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS), the major pathway for nonlysosomal intracellular protein degradation in eucaryotic cells [8,9], in this review ubiquitin-proteasome deregulation is proposed as the common persistent pathogenic factor mediating the initial stage of the atherosclerosis as well as the progression to complicated plaque in diabetic patients.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-35
PMCID: PMC2169213  PMID: 17971205
7.  Anti-proliferative activity of oral anti-hyperglycemic agents on human vascular smooth muscle cells: thiazolidinediones (glitazones) have enhanced activity under high glucose conditions 
Background
Inhibition of vascular smooth muscle cell (vSMC) proliferation by oral anti-hyperglycemic agents may have a role to play in the amelioration of vascular disease in diabetes. Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) inhibit vSMC proliferation but it has been reported that they anomalously stimulate [3H]-thymidine incorporation. We investigated three TZDs, two biguanides and two sulfonylureas for their ability of inhibit vSMC proliferation. People with diabetes obviously have fluctuating blood glucose levels thus we determined the effect of media glucose concentration on the inhibitory activity of TZDs in a vSMC preparation that grew considerably more rapidly under high glucose conditions. We further explored the mechanisms by which TZDs increase [3H]-thymidine incorporation.
Methods
VSMC proliferation was investigated by [3H]-thymidine incorporation into DNA and cell counting. Activation and inhibition of thymidine kinase utilized short term [3H]-thymidine uptake. Cell cycle events were analyzed by FACS.
Results
VSMC cells grown for 3 days in DMEM with 5% fetal calf serum under low (5 mM glucose) and high (25 mM glucose) increased in number by 2.5 and 4.7 fold, respectively. Rosiglitazone and pioglitazone showed modest but statistically significantly greater inhibitory activity under high versus low glucose conditions (P < 0.05 and P < 0.001, respectively). We confirmed an earlier report that troglitazone (at low concentrations) causes enhanced incorporation of [3H]-thymidine into DNA but did not increase cell numbers. Troglitazone inhibited serum mediated thymidine kinase induction in a concentration dependent manner. FACS analysis showed that troglitazone and rosiglitazone but not pioglitazone placed a slightly higher percentage of cells in the S phase of a growing culture. Of the biguanides, metformin had no effect on proliferation assessed as [3H]-thymidine incorporation or cell numbers whereas phenformin was inhibitory in both assays albeit at high concentrations. The sulfonylureas chlorpropamide and gliclazide had no inhibitory effect on vSMC proliferation assessed by either [3H]-thymidine incorporation or cell numbers.
Conclusion
TZDs but not sulfonylureas nor biguanides (except phenformin at high concentrations) show favorable vascular actions assessed as inhibition of vSMC proliferation. The activity of rosiglitazone and pioglitazone is enhanced under high glucose conditions. These data provide further in vitro evidence for the potential efficacy of TZDs in preventing multiple cardiovascular diseases. However, the plethora of potentially beneficial actions of TZDs in cell and animal models have not been reflected in the results of major clinical trials and a greater understanding of these complex drugs is required to delineate their ultimate clinical utility in preventing macrovascular disease in diabetes.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-33
PMCID: PMC2211460  PMID: 17963526
8.  Diabetes and pre-diabetes are associated with cardiovascular risk factors and carotid/femoral intima-media thickness independently of markers of insulin resistance and adiposity 
Background
Impaired glucose regulation (IGR) is associated with detrimental cardiovascular outcomes such as cardiovascular disease risk factors (CVD risk factors) or intima-media thickness (IMT). Our aim was to examine whether these associations are mediated by body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (waist) or fasting serum insulin (insulin) in a population in the African region.
Methods
Major CVD risk factors (systolic blood pressure, smoking, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol,) were measured in a random sample of adults aged 25–64 in the Seychelles (n = 1255, participation rate: 80.2%).
According to the criteria of the American Diabetes Association, IGR was divided in four ordered categories: 1) normal fasting glucose (NFG), 2) impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and normal glucose tolerance (IFG/NGT), 3) IFG and impaired glucose tolerance (IFG/IGT), and 4) diabetes mellitus (DM). Carotid and femoral IMT was assessed by ultrasound (n = 496).
Results
Age-adjusted levels of the major CVD risk factors worsened gradually across IGR categories (NFG < IFG/NGT < IFG/IGT < DM), particularly HDL-cholesterol and blood pressure (p for trend < 0.001). These relationships were marginally attenuated upon further adjustment for waist, BMI or insulin (whether considered alone or combined) and most of these relationships remained significant. With regards to IMT, the association was null with IFG/NGT, weak with IFG/IGT and stronger with DM (all more markedly at femoral than carotid levels). The associations between IMT and IFG/IGT or DM (adjusted by age and major CVD risk factors) decreased only marginally upon further adjustment for BMI, waist or insulin. Further adjustment for family history of diabetes did not alter the results.
Conclusion
We found graded relationships between IGR categories and both major CVD risk factors and carotid/femoral IMT. These relationships were only partly accounted for by BMI, waist and insulin. This suggests that increased CVD-risk associated with IGR is also mediated by factors other than the considered markers of adiposity and insulin resistance. The results also imply that IGR and associated major CVD risk factors should be systematically screened and appropriately managed.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-32
PMCID: PMC2148037  PMID: 17958881
9.  Waist circumference does not predict circulating adiponectin levels in sub-Saharan women 
Background
Because of previously reported ethnic differences in determinants and markers of obesity and related metabolic disorders, we sought to investigate circulating levels of adiponectin and their correlates in a sub-Saharan African (sSA) population.
Subjects and Methods
We studied 70 non-diabetic volunteers (33M/37F) living in Yaoundé, Cameroon, aged 24–69 yr, with BMI 20–42 kg/m2. In all participants we measured waist circumference and total body fat by bioimpedance, and obtained a fasting venous blood sample for measurement of plasma glucose, serum insulin and adiponectin concentrations. We performed a euglycaemic hyperinsulinaemic clamp in 1/4 subjects, and HOMAIR was used as surrogate of fasting insulin sensitivity index since it best correlates to clamp measurements.
Results
Males had lower adiponectin levels than females (8.8 ± 4.3 vs. 11.8 ± 5.5 μg/L). There was no significant correlation between adiponectin and total body fat (rs = -0.03; NS), whereas adiponectin was inversely correlated with waist circumference (rs = -0.39; p = 0.001). Adiponectin correlated negatively with insulin resistance (rs = -0.35; p = 0.01). In a regression analysis using fasting adiponectin concentration as the dependent variable, and age, HOMAIR, waist circumference, and fat mass as predictors, waist circumference (β = -3.30; p = 0.002), fat mass (β = -2.68; p = 0.01), and insulin resistance (β = -2.38; p = 0.02) but not age (β = 1.11; p = 0.27) were independent predictors of adiponectin. When considering gender, these relations persisted with the exception of waist circumference in females.
Conclusion
Adiponectin correlates in this study population are comparable to those observed in Caucasians with the exception of waist circumference in women. The metabolic significance of waist circumference is therefore questioned in sSA women.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-31
PMCID: PMC2098752  PMID: 17939853
10.  Effect of streptozotocin-induced diabetes on left ventricular function in adult rats: an in vivo Pinhole Gated SPECT study 
Background
Recent studies have suggested that diabetes mellitus (DM) may cause left ventricular (LV) dysfunction directly resulting in increased susceptibility to heart failure. Using pinhole collimators and advances in data processing, gated SPECT was recently adapted to image the rat heart. The present study was aimed to assess this new imaging technique for quantifying LV function and remodeling from the Streptozotocin (STZ) rat model compared to controls.
Methods
Twenty one rats were randomly assigned to control or diabetic group. Six months after the induction of diabetes by STZ, Pinhole 99 m Tc-sestamibi gated SPECT was performed for determining rat LV volumes and function. Post-mortem histopathologic analysis was performed to evaluate the determinant of LV remodeling in this model.
Results
After six months, the normalized to body weight LV End-systolic volume was significantly different in diabetic rats compared to controls (0.46 ± 0.02 vs 0.33 ± 0.03 μL/g; p = 0.01). The normalized LV End-diastolic volume was also different in both groups (1.51 ± 0.03 vs 0.88 ± 0.05 μL/g; p = 0.001) and the normalized stroke volume was significantly higher in STZ-rats (1.05 ± 0.02 vs 0.54 ± 0.06 μL/g; p = 0.001). The muscular fibers were thinner at histology in the diabetic rats (0.44 ± 0.07 vs 0.32 ± 0.06 AU; p = 0.01).
Conclusion
Pinhole 99 m Tc-sestamibi gated SPECT can successfully be applied for the evaluation of cardiac function and remodeling in STZ-induced diabetic rats. In this model, LV volumes were significantly changed compared to a control population, leading to a LV dysfunction. These findings were consistent with the histopathological abnormalities. Finally, these data further suggest the presence of diabetes cardiomyopathy.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-30
PMCID: PMC2099422  PMID: 17937784
11.  The progesterone receptor PROGINS polymorphism is not related to oxidative stress factors in women with polycystic ovary syndrome 
Background
Women with PCOS have been reported to be at increased risk of a number of gynaecological neoplasias, including endometrial, breast, and ovarian cancer. Studies of the possible association of genetic variation in progesterone receptor polymorphism with risk of ovarian and breast cancer have concentrated on a variant known as PROGINS.
Methods
Ninety-five young women with PCOS and 99 healthy control women were included in our study. All subjects underwent venous blood drawing for complete hormonal assays, lipid profile, glucose, insulin and PROGINS polymorphism genetic study.
Results
In PROGINS polymorphism results; in both control and the patient groups T1/T1 has been detected in high levels. But for genotype (p = 0.178) and allele (p = 0.555) frequencies both of the groups give similar results. Statistically significant difference has been detected on serum FSH levels for T1/T1 genotype according to T2/T2 genotype.
Conclusion
No relation has been detected between the inflammatory and oxidative stress factors, and PROGINS polymorphism alleles. This may be because the PCOS patients are young and their BMI means are normal and their CIMT and oxidative stress markers are like healthy women.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-29
PMCID: PMC2094702  PMID: 17919323
12.  Telmisartan/hydrochlorothiazide versus valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide in obese hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes: the SMOOTH study 
Background
The Study of Micardis (telmisartan) in Overweight/Obese patients with Type 2 diabetes and Hypertension (SMOOTH) compared hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) plus telmisartan or valsartan fixed-dose combination therapies on early morning blood pressure (BP), using ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM).
Methods
SMOOTH was a prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded-endpoint, multicentre trial. After a 2- to 4-week, single-blind, placebo run-in period, patients received once-daily telmisartan 80 mg or valsartan 160 mg for 4 weeks, with add-on HCTZ 12.5 mg for 6 weeks (T/HCTZ or V/HCTZ, respectively). At baseline and week 10, ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) was measured every 20 min and hourly means were calculated. The primary endpoint was change from baseline in mean ambulatory systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP; DBP) during the last 6 hours of the 24-hour dosing interval.
Results
In total, 840 patients were randomized. At week 10, T/HCTZ provided significantly greater reductions versus V/HCTZ in the last 6 hours mean ABP (differences in favour of T/HCTZ: SBP 3.9 mm Hg, p < 0.0001; DBP 2.0 mm Hg, p = 0.0007). T/HCTZ also produced significantly greater reductions than V/HCTZ in 24-hour mean ABP (differences in favour of T/HCTZ: SBP 3.0 mm Hg, p = 0.0002; DBP 1.6 mm Hg, p = 0.0006) and during the morning, daytime and night-time periods (p < 0.003). Both treatments were well tolerated.
Conclusion
In high-risk, overweight/obese patients with hypertension and type 2 diabetes, T/HCTZ provides significantly greater BP lowering versus V/HCTZ throughout the 24-hour dosing interval, particularly during the hazardous early morning hours.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-28
PMCID: PMC2077861  PMID: 17910747
13.  Abdominal obesity exhibits distinct effect on inflammatory and anti-inflammatory proteins in apparently healthy Japanese men 
Background
Since visceral fat tissue is known to release various inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, abdominal obesity may play a key role in the inflammation associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, few studies have determined precise relationships of abdominal obesity with inflammatory markers in MetS. To clarify the importance of abdominal obesity in sub-clinical inflammation, we examined the changes of inflammatory markers in clustering of MetS components with or without abdominal obesity.
Methods
Subjects consisted of 326 apparently healthy Japanese men (age: 30 to 59 years) who underwent health examination in the Osaka University Health Care Center. MetS components were assessed and serum levels of high sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), interleukin (IL)-6 and adiponectin were examined in all subjects.
Results
Subjects with abdominal obesity (waist circumference ≥ 85 cm) showed higher serum hs-CRP and IL-6 levels and a lower adiponectin level than those without abdominal obesity. Serum levels of hs-CRP and IL-6 significantly increased in association with clustering of MetS components in the subjects with abdominal obesity, but not in those without abdominal obesity. On the other hand, serum adiponectin level exhibited a little change with clustering of MetS components in the subjects with abdominal obesity. Significant negative correlation between adiponectin and hs-CRP was observed in the subjects with abdominal obesity, however this correlation was not detected in obese subjects defined by body mass index ≥ 25.
Conclusion
Inflammatory status is not exaggerated by clustering of MetS components in the subjects without abdominal obesity. Abdominal obesity may exhibit distinct effect on inflammatory and anti-inflammatory proteins and modulate inflammatory network in MetS.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-27
PMCID: PMC2173887  PMID: 17903275
14.  Angiotensin II receptor blockers decreased blood glucose levels: a longitudinal survey using data from electronic medical records 
Background
A beneficial effect on glucose metabolism is reported with angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) treatment of hypertension. The effect on blood glucose level during the course of treatment with ARBs in clinical cases is uncertain. Our objectives were to survey the changes in glucose and HbA1c levels in patients with hypertension over a one-year period, and to study the correlations between these values and the time after the start of ARB therapy.
Methods
We conducted a retrospective longitudinal survey of blood glucose and HbA1c measurements in Japanese patients aged ≥20 years with newly diagnosed hypertension but without diabetes, who had received ARB monotherapy with candesartan cilexetil, losartan potassium, olmesartan medoxomil, telmisartan, or valsartan during the period from December 2004 to November 2005. Data including 2465 measurements of non-fasting blood glucose in 485 patients and 457 measurements of HbA1c in 155 patients were obtained from electronic medical records of Nihon University School of Medicine. Linear mixed effects models were used to analyze the relationship between these longitudinal data of blood examinations and covariates of patient age, sex, medication, and duration of ARB therapy.
Results
Casual blood glucose level was associated with the duration of treatment (P < 0.0001), but not with age, sex, or medication. Blood glucose level was significantly decreased during the periods of 0~3 months (P < 0.0001) and 3~6 months (P = 0.0081) compared with baseline, but was not significantly different between 6~12 months and baseline. There was no association between HbA1c level and covariates of sex, age, medication and duration of treatment.
Conclusion
Our findings provide new clinical evidence that the effects of ARBs on glucose metabolism may change during the course of treatment, suggesting a blood glucose-lowering effect in the short-term after the start of treatment.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-26
PMCID: PMC2098751  PMID: 17903269
15.  Trends in hyperlipidemia and hypertension management in type 2 diabetes patients from 1998–2004: a longitudinal observational study 
Background
Lack of treatment initiation or intensification might explain why some patients with type 2 diabetes do not reach target goals. The objective is to assess trends in risk factor treatment, and identify determinants for medication adjustments in patients with uncontrolled hypertension and/or hyperlipidemia.
Methods
We conducted a cohort study using data from the Zwolle Outpatient Diabetes project Integrated Available Care (ZODIAC)-study in The Netherlands. Management of hypertension and hyperlipidemia was assessed yearly from 1998–2004 by measuring the percentage of patients receiving a treatment initiation or intensification among all patients with elevated risk factor levels. Generalized estimating equation analyses were performed.
Results
During the study period, the percentage of patients with an elevated total cholesterol/high-density lipoproteins ratio (>6) decreased considerably (from 29% to 4%) whereas the percentage of hypertensive patients decreased only slightly (≥ 150/85 mmHg; from 58% to 51%). Initiation of lipid-lowering therapy and intensification of antihypertensive therapy was higher in more recent years. However, still two-third of patients with insufficiently controlled blood pressure in 2003 did not receive an initiation or intensification of antihypertensive treatment in the following year. Treatment changes were mainly determined by elevated levels of the corresponding risk factor. We did not observe increased initiation rates for lipid-lowering therapy in patients with both hypertension and hyperlipidemia.
Conclusion
Hypertension and hyperlipidemia management in type 2 diabetes patients has improved in the past decade but further improvement is possible. Greater effort is needed to stimulate medication adjustments in patients with insufficiently controlled hypertension and combined risk factors.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-25
PMCID: PMC2034374  PMID: 17883840
16.  The prevalence of macrovascular complications among diabetic patients in the United Arab Emirates 
Background
Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a major public health problem in the UAE with a prevalence rate reaching 24% in national citizens and 17.4% in expatriates. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors of macrovascular complications among diabetic patients in the Al-Ain district of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Methods
The study was part of a general cross-sectional survey carried out to assess the prevalence of diabetes (DM) complications among known diabetic patients in Al-Ain District, UAE. Patients were randomly selected during 2003/2004. Patients completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire carried out by treating doctors and underwent a complete medical assessment including measurement of height, weight, blood pressure and examination for evidence of macrovascular complications. A standard ECG was recorded and blood samples were taken to document fasting blood sugar, glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1C) and lipid profile.
Results
A sample of 513 diabetic patients was selected with a mean age of 53 years (SD ± 13.01). Overall, 29.5% of DM patients had evidence of macrovascular complications: 11.6% (95% CI: 8.8–14.4) of patients had peripheral vascular disease (PVD), 14.4% (95% CI: 11.3–17.5) had a history of coronary artery disease (CAD) and 3.5% (95% CI: 1.9–5.1%) had cerebrovascular disease (CVD). Of the total population surveyed 35% (95%CI: 30.8–39) had hypertension. The analysis showed that macrovascular complications in diabetic patients were more common among males, increased with age, were more common among hypertensive patients and its prevalence increased steadily with duration of DM.
Conclusion
Our data revealed a significant association between hypertension and presence of macrovascular disease among diabetic patients. However, the risk of CAD in the UAE was relatively low compared to that seen in patients in other geographical settings. In addition, a lack of correlation between macrovascular disease and glycemic control among patients with DM was observed.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-24
PMCID: PMC2093928  PMID: 17880686
17.  Genetic association of glutathione peroxidase-1 with coronary artery calcification in type 2 diabetes: a case control study with multi-slice computed tomography 
Background
Although oxidative stress by accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in diabetes has become evident, it remains unclear what genes, involved in redox balance, would determine susceptibility for development of atherosclerosis in diabetes. This study evaluated the effect of genetic polymorphism of enzymes producing or responsible for reducing ROS on coronary artery calcification in type 2 diabetes (T2D).
Methods
An index for coronary-arteriosclerosis, coronary artery calcium score (CACS) was evaluated in 91 T2D patients using a multi-slice computed tomography. Patients were genotyped for ROS-scavenging enzymes, Glutathione peroxidase-1 (GPx-1), Catalase, Mn-SOD, Cu/Zn-SOD, as well as SNPs of NADPH oxidase as ROS-promoting elements, genes related to onset of T2D (CAPN10, ADRB3, PPAR gamma, FATP4). Age, blood pressure, BMI, HbA1c, lipid and duration of diabetes were evaluated for a multivariate regression analysis.
Results
CACS with Pro/Leu genotype of the GPx-1 gene was significantly higher than in those with Pro/Pro (744 ± 1,291 vs. 245 ± 399, respectively, p = 0.006). In addition, genotype frequency of Pro/Leu in those with CACS ≥ 1000 was significantly higher than in those with CACS < 1000 (45.5% vs. 18.8%; OR = 3.61, CI = 0.97–13.42; p = 0.045) when tested for deviation from Hardy-Weinberg's equilibrium. Multivariate regression analyses revealed that CACS significantly correlated with GPx-1 genotypes and age.
Conclusion
The presence of Pro197Leu substitution of the GPx-1 gene may play a crucial role in determining genetic susceptibility to coronary-arteriosclerosis in T2D. The mechanism may be associated with a decreased ability to scavenge ROS with the variant GPx-1.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-23
PMCID: PMC2041944  PMID: 17825092
18.  Impact of 4 different definitions used for the assessment of the prevalence of the Metabolic Syndrome in primary healthcare:The German Metabolic and Cardiovascular Risk Project (GEMCAS) 
Background
The metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) places individuals at increased risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Prevalence rates of the population of the MetSyn are still scarce. Moreover, the impact of different definitions of the MetSyn on the prevalence is unclear. Aim here is to assess the prevalence of the MetSyn in primary health care and to investigate the impact of four different definitions of the MetSyn on the determined prevalence with regard to age, gender and socio-economic status.
Methods
The German-wide cross-sectional study was conducted during two weeks in October 2005 in 1.511 randomly selected general practices. Blood samples were analyzed, blood pressure and waist circumference assessed, data on lifestyle, medication, chronic disorders, and socio-demographic characteristics collected. MetSyn prevalence was estimated according to the definitions of NCEP ATP III (2001), AHA/NHLBI (2004, 2005), and IDF (2005). Descriptive statistics and prevalence rate ratios using the PROG GENMOD procedure, were calculated. Cohen's kappa was used as measure for interreliability between the different prevalence estimates.
Results
Data of 35,869 patients (age range: 18–99, women 61.1%) were included. The prevalence was lowest using the NCEP ATP III- (all: 19.8%, men 22.7%, women: 18.0%), highest according to the IDF-definition (32.7%, 40.3%, 28.0%). The increase in prevalence with recent definitions was more pronounced for men than for women, and was particularly high for men and women aged 60–79 years. The IDF-definition resulted in a higher prevalence especially in those with the highest educational status. Agreement (kappa) between the NCEP ATP III- and IDF-definition was 0.68 (men 0.61, women 0.74), between the updated the AHA/NHLBI- (2005) and IDF-definition 0.85 (men 0.79, women 0.89).
Conclusion
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome is associated with age, gender, and educational status and increases considerably with each newly published definition. Our data highlight the need for a better evidence regarding thresholds of the components of the metabolic syndrome, especially with regard to the IDF-definition – according to which in some populations a majority of subjects are diagnosed with the metabolic syndrome.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-22
PMCID: PMC2031874  PMID: 17822558
19.  Low density lipoprotein from patients with Type 2 diabetes increases expression of monocyte matrix metalloproteinase and ADAM metalloproteinase genes 
Aims
Type 2 diabetes is characterised by increased plasma concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines [such as tumour necrosis factor – alpha; TNF-α] and soluble forms of adhesion molecules involved in leukocyte – endothelial interactions. These molecules are synthesised as transmembrane proteins and the plasma soluble forms are generated by ectodomain cleavage from the cell surface by members of the ADAM [adisintegrin and metalloproteinase] proteinase family. We hypothesised that plasma low density lipoprotein [LDL] from subjects with Type 2 diabetes would influence in vitro monocytic ADAM and matrix metalloproteinase [MMP] gene expression differently compared to control LDL.
Methods
We examined relative mRNA expression by real time PCR in a monocytic cell line [THP-1] cultured for 4, 8 and 24 hrs with human plasma LDL derived from subjects with [n = 5] or without [n = 4] Type 2 diabetes. Gene expression for MMP-1 and 9, and ADAM – 8, 15, 17 and 28 was studied.
Results
Type 2 diabetes LDL significantly increased gene expression of MMP – 1 [p < 0.01] MMP – 9 [p < 0.001], and ADAM 17 [p < 0.05], – 28 [p < 0.01] and – 15 [p < 0.01] compared to control LDL. Type 2 diabetes LDL had disparate effects on inhibitors of MMP.
Conclusion
These data suggest that Type 2 diabetes LDL could lead to increased adhesion molecule and TNF alpha cell surface shedding, and vascular plaque instability, by promoting increased expression of ADAM and MMP genes.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-21
PMCID: PMC2041943  PMID: 17714581
20.  Cardiovascular benefits and safety profile of acarbose therapy in prediabetes and established type 2 diabetes 
Dysglycaemic disease is one of the most important health issues facing the world in the 21st century. Patients with type 2 diabetes and individuals with prediabetes are at risk of developing macrovascular and microvascular complications. Long-term management strategies are therefore required that are effective at controlling dysglycaemia, well tolerated and, ideally, offer additional cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk-reduction benefits. The efficacy, safety and tolerability of the α-glucosidase inhibitor acarbose have been well-established in a wide range of patient populations in both clinical and community trials. In addition, acarbose has been shown to reduce cardiovascular complications in type 2 diabetes and prevent hypertension and CVD in individuals with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Acarbose has a very good safety profile and, owing to its straightforward, non-systemic mode of action, avoids most adverse events. The most common side-effects of acarbose are mild-to-moderate gastrointestinal complaints that subside as treatment continues. They can be minimised through the use of an appropriate stepwise dosing regimen and careful choice of diet. Acarbose is therefore a valuable option for the management of type 2 diabetes and, as the only oral antidiabetes agent approved for the treatment of prediabetes, can help to improve clinical management across the dysglycaemic disease continuum.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-20
PMCID: PMC2040135  PMID: 17697384
21.  'Correction:' Serum transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-beta-1) levels in diabetic patients are not associated with pre-existent coronary artery disease 
Background
The association between TGF-β1 levels and long-term major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) is controversial. No study specifically addressed patients with CAD and diabetes mellitus (DM). The association between TGF-β1 levels and long-term major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) is controversial. No study specifically addressed patients with CAD and diabetes mellitus (DM).
Methods
Patients (n = 135, 30–80 years) referred for coronary angiography were submitted to clinical and laboratory evaluation, and the coronary angiograms were evaluated by two operators blinded to clinical characteristics. CAD was defined as the presence of a 70% stenosis in one major coronary artery, and DM was characterized as a fasting glycemia > 126 mg/dl or known diabetics (personal history of diabetes or previous use of anti-hyperglycemic drugs or insulin). Based on these criteria, study patients were classified into four groups: no DM and no CAD (controls, C n = 61), DM without CAD (D n = 23), CAD without DM (C-CAD n = 28), and CAD with DM (D-CAD n = 23). Baseline differences between the 4 groups were evaluated by the χ2 test for trend (categorical variables) and by ANOVA (continuous variables, post-hoc Tukey). Patients were then followed-up during two years for the occurrence of MACE (cardiac death, stroke, myocardial infarction or myocardial revascularization). The association of candidate variables with the occurrence of 2-year MACE was assessed by univariate analysis.
Results
The mean age was 58.2 ± 0.9 years, and 51% were men. Patients with CAD had a higher mean age (p = 0.011) and a higher percentage were male (p = 0.040). There were no significant baseline differences between the 4 groups regarding hypertension, smoking status, blood pressure levels, lipid levels or inflammatory markers. TGF-β1 was similar between patients with or without CAD or DM (35.1 ×/÷ 1.3, 33.6 ×/÷ 1.6, 33.9 ×/÷ 1.4 and 31.8 ×/÷ 1.4 ng/ml in C, D, C-CAD and D-CAD, respectively, p = 0.547). In the 2-year follow-ip, independent predictors of 2-year MACE were age (p = 0.007), C-reactive protein (p = 0.048) and systolic blood pressure (p = 0.008), but not TGF-β1.
Conclusion
Serum TGF-β1 was not associated with CAD or MACE occurrence in patients with or without DM.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-19
PMCID: PMC1976604  PMID: 17651487
22.  Serum leptin and its relation to anthropometric measures of obesity in pre-diabetic Saudis 
Background
Little information is available on leptin concentrations in individuals with IGT. This study aims to determine and correlate leptin levels to anthropometric measures of obesity in pre-diabetic, (IFG and IGT), type 2 diabetic and normoglycaemic Saudis.
Methods
308 adult Saudis (healthy controls n = 80; pre-diabetes n = 86; Type 2 diabetes n = 142) participated. Anthropometric parameters were measured and fasting blood samples taken. Serum insulin was analysed, using a solid phase enzyme amplified sensitivity immunoassay and also leptin concentrations, using radio-immunoassay. The remaining blood parameters were determined using standard laboratory procedures.
Results
Leptin levels of diabetic and pre-diabetic men were higher than in normoglycaemic men (12.4 [3.2–72] vs 3.9 [0.8–20.0] ng/mL, (median [interquartile range], p = 0.0001). In females, leptin levels were significantly higher in pre-diabetic subjects (14.09 [2.8–44.4] ng/mL) than in normoglycaemic subjects (10.2 [0.25–34.8] ng/mL) (p = 0.046). After adjustment for BMI and gender, hip circumference was associated with log leptin (p = 0.006 with R2 = 0.086) among all subjects.
Conclusion
Leptin is associated with measures of adiposity, hip circumference in particular, in the non-diabetic state among Saudi subjects. The higher leptin level among diabetics and pre-diabetics is not related to differences in anthropometric measures of obesity.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-18
PMCID: PMC1933413  PMID: 17617917
23.  Exacerbation of acidosis during ischemia and reperfusion arrhythmia in hearts from type 2 Diabetic Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty rats 
Background
Sensitivity to ischemia and its underlying mechanisms in type 2 diabetic hearts are still largely unknown. Especially, correlation between reperfusion induced ventricular arrhythmia and changes in intracellular pH has not been elucidated.
Methods and results
Male Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats at 16 and 32 weeks of age were used along with age-matched nondiabetic Long-Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO) rats. Hearts from rats in these 4 groups were perfused in the working heart mode, thus inducing whole heart ischemia. At 16 weeks of age, no differences in blood glucose levels or incidence and duration of reperfusion arrhythmia were found between the strains. At 32 weeks of age, both impaired glucose tolerance and obesity were observed in the OLETF rats. Further, the duration of reperfusion-induced ventricular fibrillation (VF) was significantly longer in the OLETF rats, while the pH level was significantly lower and proton contents were significantly higher in coronary effluent during ischemia in those rats. Following treatment with troglitazone, improvements in pH and proton level in coronary effluent during ischemia were observed, as was the duration of reperfusion-induced VF in OLETF rats at 32 weeks of age.
Conclusion
The hearts of spontaneously diabetic OLETF rats were found to be more susceptible to ischemic insult. Troglitazone treatment improved ischemic tolerance by improving glucose metabolism in the myocardium of those rats.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-17
PMCID: PMC1896150  PMID: 17550619
24.  Neointimal hyperplasia persists at six months after sirolimus-eluting stent implantation in diabetic porcine 
Background
Observational clinical studies have shown that patients with diabetes have less favorable results after percutaneous coronary intervention compared with the non-diabetic counterparts, but its mechanism remains unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the changes of neointimal hyperplasia after sirolimus-eluting stent (SES) implantation in a diabetic porcine model, and to evaluate the impact of aortic inflammation on this proliferative process.
Methods
Diabetic porcine model was created with an intravenous administration of a single dose of streptozotocin in 15 Chinese Guizhou minipigs (diabetic group); each of them received 2 SES (Firebird, Microport Co, China) implanted into 2 separated major epicardial coronary arteries. Fifteen non-diabetic minipigs with SES implantation served as controls (control group). At 6 months, the degree of neointimal hyperplasia was determined by repeat coronary angiography, intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and histological examination. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α protein level in the aortic intima was evaluated by Western blotting, and TNF-α, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 mRNA levels were assayed by reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction.
Results
The distribution of stented vessels, diameter of reference vessels, and post-procedural minimal lumen diameter were comparable between the two groups. At 6-month follow-up, the degree of in-stent restenosis (40.4 ± 24.0% vs. 20.2 ± 17.7%, p < 0.05), late lumen loss (0.33 ± 0.19 mm vs. 0.10 ± 0.09 mm, p < 0.001) by quantitative angiography, percentage of intimal hyperplasia in the stented area (26.7 ± 19.2% vs. 7.3 ± 6.1%, p < 0.001) by IVUS, and neointimal area (1.59 ± 0.76 mm2 vs. 0.41 ± 0.18 mm2, p < 0.05) by histological examination were significantly exacerbated in the diabetic group than those in the controls. Significant increases in TNF-α protein and TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 mRNA levels were observed in aortic intima in the diabetic group.
Conclusion
Neointimal hyperplasia persisted at least up to 6 months after SES implantation in diabetic porcine, which may be partly related to an exaggerated inflammatory response within the blood vessel wall. Our results provide theoretical support for potential direct beneficial effects of anti-diabetic and anti-inflammation medications in reducing the risk of restenosis after stenting.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-16
PMCID: PMC1892541  PMID: 17550588
25.  Gene transfer of wild-type apoA-I and apoA-I Milano reduce atherosclerosis to a similar extent 
Background
The atheroprotective effects of systemic delivery of either apolipoprotein A-I (wtApoA-I) or the naturally occurring mutant ApoA-I Milano (ApoA-IM) have been established in animal and human trials, but direct comparison studies evaluating the phenotype of ApoA-I or ApoAI-Milano knock-in mice or bone marrow transplantated animals with selectively ApoA-I or ApoAI-Milano transduced macrophages give conflicting results regarding the superior performance of either one. We therefore sought to compare the two forms of apoA-I using liver-directed somatic gene transfer in hypercholesterinemic mice – a model which is most adequately mimicking the clinical setting.
Methods and results
Vectors based on AAV serotype 8 (AAV2.8) encoding wtApoA-I, ApoA-IM or green fluorescent protein (GFP) as control were constructed. LDL receptor deficient mice were fed a Western Diet. After 8 weeks the AAV vectors were injected, and 6 weeks later atherosclerotic lesion size was determined by aortic en face analysis. Expression of wtApoA-I reduced progression of atherosclerosis by 32% compared with control (p = 0.02) and of ApoA-IM by 24% (p = 0.04). There was no significant difference between the two forms of ApoA-I in inhibiting atherosclerosis progression.
Conclusion
Liver-directed AAV2.8-mediated gene transfer of wtApoA-I and ApoA-IM each significantly reduced atherosclerosis progression to a similar extent.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-15
PMCID: PMC1868709  PMID: 17475009

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