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Open Access Original investigation

Reduced circulating sTWEAK levels are associated with metabolic syndrome in elderly individuals at high cardiovascular risk

Andrés Díaz-López12, Mònica Bulló12, Matilde R Chacón3, Ramón Estruch24, Joan Vendrell3, Javier Díez-Espino5, Montserrat Fitó26, Dolores Corella7 and Jordi Salas-Salvadó12*

Author Affiliations

1 Human Nutrition Unit, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, C/ Sant Llorenç, 21, Reus, Tarragona 43201, Spain

2 CIBERobn Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition, Institute of Health Carlos III, Madrid, Spain

3 The Biomedical Research Centres Network for Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Disorders (CIBERDEM), University Hospital of Tarragona Joan XXIII, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain

4 Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Clinic, Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

5 Primary Health Care Centre of Tafalla, Tafalla, Spain

6 Cardiovascular Risk and Nutrition Research Group (CARIN), Research Programme in Inflammatory and Cardiovascular Disorders (RICAD), IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute), Barcelona, Spain

7 Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

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Cardiovascular Diabetology 2014, 13:51  doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-51

Published: 24 February 2014

Abstract

Background

The circulating soluble TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis (sTWEAK) is a cytokine that modulates inflammatory and atherogenic reactions related to cardiometabolic risk. We investigated the association between sTWEAK levels and metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components in older subjects at high cardiovascular risk.

Methods

Cross-sectional analysis of 452 non-diabetic individuals (men and women aged 55–80 years) at high cardiovascular risk. MetS was defined by AHA/NHLBI and IDF criteria. Logistic regression analyses were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) for MetS and its components by tertiles of serum sTWEAK concentrations measured by ELISA.

Results

sTWEAK concentrations were lower in subjects with MetS than in those without. In gender- and age-adjusted analyses, subjects in the lowest sTWEAK tertile had higher ORs for overall MetS [1.71 (95% CI, 1.07-2.72)] and its components abdominal obesity [2.01 (1.15-3.52)], hyperglycemia [1.94 (1.20-3.11)], and hypertriglyceridemia [1.73 (1.05-2.82)] than those in the upper tertile. These associations persisted after controlling for family history of diabetes and premature coronary heart disease, lifestyle, kidney function and other MetS components. sTWEAK concentrations decreased as the number of MetS components increased. Individuals in the lowest vs the upper sTWEAK tertile had an increased risk of disclosing greater number of MetS features. Adjusted ORs for individuals with 2 vs ≤1, 3 vs ≤1, and ≥4 vs ≤ 1 MetS components were 2.60 (1.09-6.22), 2.83 (1.16-6.87) and 6.39 (2.42-16.85), respectively.

Conclusion

In older subjects at high cardiovascular risk, reduced sTWEAK levels are associated with MetS: abdominal obesity, hypertriglyceridemia and hyperglycemia are the main contributors to this association.

Keywords:
sTWEAK; Metabolic syndrome; Cardiovascular risk; Biomarkers; Insulin resistance