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Mansi Dalal, Kai Sun, Anne R Cappola, Luigi Ferrucci, Candace Crasto, Linda P Fried and Richard D Semba

Objective

Although fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease, the relationship between FGF23 and cardiovascular disease has not been well characterized in the general population. The aim of this study was to determine whether serum FGF23 is independently associated with cardiovascular disease in older community-dwelling women.

Design and methods

A cross-sectional design was used to examine the relationship between serum FGF23 and cardiovascular disease. The subjects consisted of a population-based sample of 659 women, aged 70–79 years, who participated in the Women's Health and Aging Studies in Baltimore, Maryland. Prevalent cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and peripheral artery disease) was assessed through diagnostic algorithms and physician adjudication.

Results

Of the 659 women, 185 (28.1%) had cardiovascular disease. Median (25th, 75th percentile) intact serum FGF23 was 34.6 (25.2, 46.2) pg/ml. The prevalence of cardiovascular disease in the lowest, middle, and highest tertile of serum FGF23 was 22.6, 24.9, and 36.7% respectively (P=0.002). Serum log FGF23 was associated with cardiovascular disease (odds ratio per 1 s.d. increase=1.23, 95% confidence interval 1.17, 1.30; P<0.0001) in a multivariable logistic regression model, adjusting for age, race, smoking, education, body mass index, cognition, diabetes, hypertension, physical activity, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and renal function.

Conclusion

Elevated serum FGF23 concentrations are independently associated with prevalent cardiovascular disease in older community-dwelling women. Further studies are needed to elucidate the potential biological mechanisms by which FGF23 may be involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease.

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Annewieke W van den Beld, Olga D Carlson, Maire E Doyle, Dimitris Rizopoulos, Luigi Ferrucci, Aart Jan van der Lely and Josephine M Egan

Objective

Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2) concentrations are low in subjects with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Intriguingly, recent studies have demonstrated an association between high IGFBP-2 concentrations and increased mortality not only in populations with certain types of cancer, but also in relatively healthy populations. We evaluated the role of IGFBP-2 in relation to BMI and mortality.

Design and Participants

BMI, insulin sensitivity, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I) and IGFBP-2 were assessed repeatedly in 539 participants of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging around the ages of 55, 65 and 75 years.

Results

IGFBP-2 concentrations positively correlated with insulin sensitivity and inversely with BMI, both at baseline and follow-up. Independent of IGF-I, sex, BMI and insulin sensitivity, circulating IGFBP-2 levels positively correlated with age (P < 0.001). Changes over time in BMI were associated with an inverse correlation in IGFBP-2 concentrations. Furthermore, we found indications of a relationship between low baseline IGFBP-2 levels and mortality. Remarkably, after adjustment for insulin sensitivity, the opposite association was found, as a unit increase of log(IGFBP2) was associated with an increase in the log hazard by 1.43 (95% CI: 0.3–2.6). This accounted for both baseline (P = 0.02) as well as serial (P < 0.001) measurements of IGFBP2. Finally, in this longitudinal study, we found that IGF-I concentrations increased with age (0.82 ± 0.2 (µg/L)/year, P < 0.001).

Conclusion

This is the first study investigating the relationship between IGFBP-2 levels and age in a longitudinal setting. Serum IGFBP-2 levels increase with age after the age of 50 years and evolve in parallel with insulin sensitivity. IGFBP-2 may therefore be a potential marker for insulin sensitivity. We further show that IGFBP-2 levels can predict mortality in this aging population. However, its predictive value for mortality can only be interpreted in relation to insulin sensitivity. After adjustment for insulin sensitivity, high IGFBP-2 levels are predictive of increased mortality.