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Henry Völzke, Matthias Nauck, Rainer Rettig, Marcus Dörr, Claire Higham, Georg Brabant and Henri Wallaschofski

Context

It is assumed that hepatic steatosis plays a role in the development and progression of the metabolic syndrome and its cardiovascular sequelae. Low serum IGF1 levels might mediate these associations.

Objectives

The aims of this study were i) to investigate the associations of hepatic steatosis with serum IGF1 and IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) levels using ultrasound and serum alanine aminotransaminase (ALT) data to define hepatic steatosis, and ii) to analyze the specific role of alcohol consumption in this context.

Design

We analyzed data from the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania.

Methods

We used data from 3863 subjects (1971 women) aged 20–79 years who had no history of viral hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, or malignant diseases. Liver hyperechogenicity was diagnosed using ultrasound. Serum IGF1 and IGFBP-3 levels were determined by automated two-site chemiluminescence immunoassays.

Results

Hyperechogenic liver pattern was associated with low serum IGF1 levels and low serum IGF1/IGFBP-3 ratios. The lowest serum IGF1 and IGF1/IGFBP-3 values and highest IGFBP-3 levels were present in subjects who had a hyperechogenic liver pattern and increased serum ALT levels. All of these associations were independent of alcohol consumption.

Conclusions

Our data show that hepatic steatosis is associated with low serum IGF1 levels. This association is independent of alcohol consumption.

Free access

Henry Völzke, Till Ittermann, Carsten O Schmidt, Marcus Dörr, Ulrich John, Henri Wallaschofski, Bruno H C Stricker, Stephan B Felix and Rainer Rettig

Objectives

There is current controversy on the association between subclinical hyperthyroidism and hypertension. Data from cohort studies have not been available yet. The present study was designed to longitudinally investigate possible associations of subclinical hyperthyroidism with blood pressure, pulse pressure and the risk of hypertension.

Methods

We used data from the population-based, prospective cohort Study of Health in Pomerania and included 2910 subjects (1469 women) aged 20–79 years with completed 5-year examination follow-up. Subjects with increased serum TSH levels or overt hyperthyroidism were excluded. Serum TSH levels below 0.25 mIU/l with free triiodothyronine and free thyroxine levels within the reference range were defined as subclinical hyperthyroidism. Blood pressure was measured according to standard methods.

Results

Multivariable analyses adjusted for age, sex, overweight, obesity, smoking status and time between the examinations did not reveal any statistically significant association between subclinical hyperthyroidism and any of the blood pressure-related variables in the whole study population. Although the 5-year hypertension incidence was higher in subjects with subclinical hyperthyroidism compared with those without (31.4 vs 19.2%; risk ratio 1.64; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.17–2.28, P=0.006), both groups did not differ with respect to the risk of hypertension, after analyses were adjusted for confounders (relative risk 1.23, 95% CI 0.91–1.68, P=0.182). Analyses yielded similar results in subjects without thyroid disease and in those who took no antihypertensive medication.

Conclusion

Subclinical hyperthyroidism is not associated with changes in blood pressure, pulse pressure or incident hypertension.

Free access

Anke Hannemann, Christa Meisinger, Martin Bidlingmaier, Angela Döring, Barbara Thorand, Margit Heier, Petra Belcredi, Karl-Heinz Ladwig, Henri Wallaschofski, Nele Friedrich, Sabine Schipf, Jan Lüdemann, Rainer Rettig, Jörg Peters, Henry Völzke, Jochen Seissler, Felix Beuschlein, Matthias Nauck and Martin Reincke

Objective

The aim of this study was to analyze the potential association of the plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC) with the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components in two German population-based studies.

Methods

We selected 2830 and 2901 participants (31–80 years) from the follow-ups of the Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP)-1 and the Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (KORA) F4 respectively. MetS was defined as the presence of at least three out of the following five criteria: waist circumference ≥94 cm (men (m)) and ≥80 cm (women (w)); high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol <1.0 mmol/l (m) and <1.3 mmol/l (w); blood pressure ≥130/85 mmHg or antihypertensive treatment; non-fasting glucose (SHIP-1) ≥8 mmol/l, fasting glucose (KORA F4) ≥5.55 mmol/l or antidiabetic treatment; non-fasting triglycerides (SHIP-1) ≥2.3 mmol/l, fasting triglycerides (KORA F4) ≥1.7 mmol/l, or lipid-lowering treatment. We calculated logistic regression models by comparing the highest study- and sex-specific PAC quintiles versus all lower quintiles.

Results

MetS was common with 48.1% (m) and 34.8% (w) in SHIP-1 and 42.7% (m) and 27.5% (w) in KORA F4. Our logistic regression models revealed associations of PAC with MetS, elevated triglycerides, and decreased HDL cholesterol in SHIP-1 and KORA F4.

Conclusions

Our findings add to the increasing evidence supporting a relation between aldosterone and MetS and suggest that aldosterone may be involved in the pathophysiology of MetS and lipid metabolism disorders.