Associations between metabolic dysregulation and circulating biomarkers of fibrosis: The Cardiovascular Health Study

Isha Agarwal, Nicole L. Glazer, Eddy Barasch, Luc Djousse, John S. Gottdiener, Joachim H. Ix, Jorge R. Kizer, Eric B. Rimm, David S. Siscovick, George L. King, Ken J. Mukamal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Aim Fibrosis is one postulated pathway by which diabetes produces cardiac and other systemic complications. Our aim was to determine which metabolic parameters are associated with circulating fibrosis-related biomarkers transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and procollagen type III N-terminal propeptide (PIIINP). Methods We used linear regression to determine the cross-sectional associations of diverse metabolic parameters, including fasting glucose, fasting insulin, body mass index, fatty acid binding protein 4, and non-esterified fatty acids, with circulating levels of TGF-β (n = 1559) and PIIINP (n = 3024) among community-living older adults in the Cardiovascular Health Study. Results Among the main metabolic parameters we examined, only fasting glucose was associated with TGF-β (P = 0.03). In contrast, multiple metabolic parameters were associated with PIIINP, including fasting insulin, body mass index, and non-esterified fatty acids (P< 0.001, P< 0.001, P= 0.001, respectively). These associations remained statistically significant after mutual adjustment, except the association between BMI and PIIINP. Conclusions Isolated hyperglycemia is associated with higher serum concentrations of TGF-β, while a broader phenotype of insulin resistance is associated with higher serum PIIINP. Whether simultaneous pharmacologic targeting of these two metabolic phenotypes can synergistically reduce the risk of cardiac and other manifestations of fibrosis remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1316-1323
Number of pages8
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Fibrosis
  • Growth factors
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Insulin resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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