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Open access

Trevor Lewis, Eva Zeisig, and Jamie E Gaida

Background

While metabolic health is acknowledged to affect connective tissue structure and function, the mechanisms are unclear. Glucocorticoids are present in almost every cell type throughout the body and control key physiological processes such as energy homeostasis, stress response, inflammatory and immune processes, and cardiovascular function. Glucocorticoid excess manifests as visceral adiposity, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. As these metabolic states are also associated with tendinopathy and tendon rupture, it may be that glucocorticoids excess is the link between metabolic health and tendinopathy.

Objective

To synthesise current knowledge linking glucocorticoid exposure to tendon structure and function.

Methods

Narrative literature review.

Results

We provide an overview of endogenous glucocorticoid production, regulation, and signalling. Next we review the impact that oral glucocorticoid has on risk of tendon rupture and the effect that injected glucocorticoid has on resolution of symptoms. Then we highlight the clinical and mechanistic overlap between tendinopathy and glucocorticoid excess in the areas of visceral adiposity, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. In these areas, we highlight the role of glucocorticoids and how these hormones might underpin the connection between metabolic health and tendon dysfunction.

Conclusions

There are several plausible pathways through which glucocorticoids might mediate the connection between metabolic health and tendinopathy.

Open access

Katica Bajuk Studen and Marija Pfeifer

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common disorder in women of reproductive age. Besides hyperandrogenism, oligomenorrhea and fertility issues, it is associated with a high prevalence of metabolic disorders and cardiovascular risk factors. Several genetic polymorphisms have been identified for possible associations with cardiometabolic derangements in PCOS. Different PCOS phenotypes differ significantly in their cardiometabolic risk, which worsens with severity of androgen excess. Due to methodological difficulties, longer time-scale data about cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in PCOS and about possible beneficial effects of different treatment interventions is missing leaving many issues regarding cardiovascular risk unresolved.

Open access

Ling-Jun Li, Izzuddin M Aris, Lin Lin Su, Yap Seng Chong, Tien Yin Wong, Kok Hian Tan, and Jie Jin Wang

Aims

The cumulative effect of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) on postpartum cardio-metabolic diseases is equivocal. We aimed to assess the associations of GDM and HDP’s individual and synergic contribution to risks of postpartum cardio-metabolic diseases (metabolic syndrome (MetS), abnormal glucose metabolism and hypertension (HTN)).

Methods

Of participants from a Singapore birth cohort, 276 mothers attending the 5-year postpartum visit were included in this study. During this visit, we collected mothers’ history of GDM and HDP in all live births in a chronicle sequence and assessed the cardio-metabolic risks based on blood pressure, anthropometry and a panel of serum biomarkers. We diagnosed MetS, abnormal glucose metabolism and HTN according to Adult Treatment Panel III 2000 and World Health Organization guidelines.

Results

Of 276 mothers, 157 (56.9%) had histories of GDM while 23 (8.3%) had histories of HDP. After full adjustment, we found associations of GDM episodes with postpartum abnormal glucose metabolism (single episode: relative risk (RR) 2.9 (95% CI: 1.7, 4.8); recurrent episodes (≥2): RR = 3.8 (2.1–6.8)). Also, we found association between histories of HDP and HTN (RR = 3.6 (1.5, 8.6)). Having either (RR 2.6 (1.7–3.9)) or both gestational complications (RR 2.7 (1.6–4.9)) was associated with similar risk of postpartum cardio-metabolic disease.

Conclusions

Mothers with GDM or HDP had a threefold increased risk of postpartum abnormal glucose metabolism or HTN, respectively. Having both GDM and HDP during past pregnancies was not associated with additional risk of postpartum cardio-metabolic diseases beyond that associated with either complication alone.

Open access

Marc Blondon, Emmanuel Biver, Olivia Braillard, Marc Righini, Pierre Fontana, and Alessandro Casini

Objective

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risks of arterial and venous cardiovascular events. Hypothetically, supplementation with vitamin D may lead to a less prothrombotic phenotype, as measured by global coagulation assays and fibrin clot structure.

Methods

In this prospective cohort study, we enrolled adult outpatients attending the Primary Care Division of the Geneva University Hospitals with a severe vitamin D deficiency (25-hydroxyvitamin-D3 (25-OHD) <25 nmol/L), excluding obese patients or with a recent acute medical event. We evaluated changes in coagulation times, thrombin generation assay, clot formation and clot lysis time, 25-OHD and parathormone before and 1–3 months after cholecalciferol oral supplementation with one-time 300,000 IU then 800 IU daily. Paired t-tests with a two-sided alpha of 0.05 compared absolute mean differences.

Results

The 48 participants had a mean age of 43.8 ± 13.8 years. After supplementation, 25-OHD levels increased from 17.9 ± 4.6 nmol/L to 62.5 ± 20.7 nmol/L 6.4 ± 3.0 weeks after inclusion. Endogenous thrombin potential and thrombin generation peak values both decreased significantly (−95.4 nM × min (95%CI −127.9 to −62.8), P < 0.001; −15.1 nM (−23.3 to −6.8), P < 0.001). The maximum absorbance by turbidimetry decreased significantly (P = 0.001) after supplementation. There was no change in clot lysis time, coagulation times or plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and homocysteine levels.

Conclusions

In severe vitamin D deficiency, a high-dose cholecalciferol supplementation was associated with a reduction in thrombin generation and an average decreased number of fibrin protofibrils per fibers and fibrin fiber size measured by turbidimetry. This suggests that severe vitamin D deficiency may be associated with a potentially reversible prothrombotic profile.

Open access

Line K Johnson, Kirsten B Holven, Njord Nordstrand, Jan R Mellembakken, Tom Tanbo, and Jøran Hjelmesæth

We aimed to examine whether a whole-grain crispbread (CB) low-fructose, low-calorie diet (LCD) might be superior to a traditional LCD based on fructose-rich liquid meal replacements (LMRs) with respect to improvement of various cardiometabolic risk factors and reproductive hormones. Parallel-group randomised controlled clinical trial. Morbidly obese women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) were randomised to either an 8-week CB-LCD or LMR-LCD (900–1100 kcal/day, fructose 17 g/day or 85 g/day). A total of 51 women completed the study. Body weight, fat mass and waist circumference reduced by mean (s.d.) 10.0 (4.8) kg, 7.4 (4.2) kg and 8.5 (4.4) cm, with no significant differences between groups. Total-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and Apo-A1 were significantly reduced within both groups (all P values <0.01), with no significant between-group differences. The triacylglycerol and LDL-cholesterol levels were reduced within the LMR group only, with no significant between-group differences. Blood pressure and most measures of glucose metabolism improved significantly in both diet groups, with no significant between-group difference. Uric acid levels rose by 17.7 (46.4) and 30.6 (71.5) μmol/l in the CB and LMR group, respectively, with no significant difference between groups. Gastrointestinal discomfort was significantly and equally reduced in both intervention groups. Free testosterone index was reduced in both groups, with no significant difference between groups. Morbidly obese women with PCOS who underwent either an 8-week low or high-fructose LCD-diet had similar changes in various cardiometabolic risk factors and reproductive hormones. Registration at ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00779571.

Open access

Anna Eremkina, Julia Krupinova, Ekaterina Dobreva, Anna Gorbacheva, Ekaterina Bibik, Margarita Samsonova, Alina Ajnetdinova, and Natalya Mokrysheva

Hypercalcemic crisis is a severe but rare complication of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT), and data on denosumab treatment of patients with this disease is still very limited. The aim of this paper is to investigate the hypocalcemic effect of denosumab in PHPT patients with severe hypercalcemia when surgery should be delayed or is impossible for some reasons. We performed a retrospective study of 10 patients. The analysis included the use of biochemical markers of calcium-phosphorus metabolism, which were followed after the administration of 60 mg of denosumab. The trend to calcium reduction was already determined on the 3rd day after denosumab administration. In most cases the decrease in serum calcium level to the range of 2.8 mmol/L on average or lower was observed on the 7th day (P = 0.002). In addition to a significant increase in calcium levels we confirmed a significant increase in the estimated glomerular filtration rate on 7th day (P = 0.012). After that, seven patients underwent successful parathyroidectomy and achieved eucalcemia or hypocalcemia, one patient developed the recurrence of parathyroid cancer after initial surgery, while two patients with severe cardiovascular pathology refused surgery. Our study shows that denosumab is a useful tool in PHPT-associated hypercalcemia before surgery or if surgery is contraindicated.

Open access

Sebastião Freitas de Medeiros, Cinthia Marenza Ormond, Matheus Antônio Souto de Medeiros, Nayara de Souza Santos, Camila Regis Banhara, and Márcia Marly Winck Yamamoto

Objective

To examine the anthropometric, and metabolic connections of 17-hydroxypregnenolone in the normo- and hyperandrogenemic polycystic ovary syndrome phenotypes.

Materials and methods

This cohort study was conducted at the Julio Muller University Hospital, Cuiabá, Brazil, between January 2014 and July 2016, and 91 normal cycling healthy women, 46 normoandrogenemic and 147 hyperandrogenemic, patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) were enrolled according to the Rotterdam criteria. Several anthropometric, biochemical and hormonal parameters were properly verified and correlated with 17-hydroxypregnenolone (17-OHPE) concentrations.

Results

17-OHPE was higher in hyperandrogenemic PCOS than in normoandrogenemic PCOS and in control groups (P = 0.032 and P < 0.001, respectively). In healthy controls, 17-OHPE was positively associated with glucose, free estrogen index, DHEAS and negatively associated with compounds S. In normoandrogenemic PCOS patients, 17-OHPE presented positive correlations with VAI, LAP, cortisol, insulin and HOMA-IR. In the hyperandrogenemic group, 17-OHPE presented significant negative correlations with most anthropometric parameters, HOMA-IR, HOMA %B, estradiol, free estrogen index (FEI), C-peptide, and TG levels and positive correlations with HOMA-S and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG), androstenedione (A4) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Regarding hyperandrogenemic PCOS, and using a stepwise multiple regression, only HOMA-S and WHR were retained in the model (R 2 = 0.294, P < 0.001).

Conclusion

17-OHPE exhibited different relationships with anthropometric, and biochemical parameters in PCOS patients, depending on the androgen levels. In PCOS subjects with high androgen concentrations, 17-OHPE was negatively associated with most anthropometric parameters, particularly with those used as markers of adipose tissue dysfunction and frequently employed as predictors of cardiovascular disease risk; otherwise, 17-OHPE was positively associated with HDL-C and HOMA-S in this patients. Future studies are required to evaluate the clinical implications of these novel findings.

Open access

David Koeckerling, Jeremy W Tomlinson, and Jeremy F Cobbold

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a chronic liver disease which is closely associated with components of the metabolic syndrome. Its high clinical burden results from the growing prevalence, inherent cardiometabolic risk and potential of progressing to cirrhosis. Patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease show variable rates of disease progression through a histological spectrum ranging from steatosis to steatohepatitis with or without fibrosis. The presence and severity of fibrosis are the most important prognostic factors in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This necessitates risk stratification of patients by fibrosis stage using combinations of non-invasive methods, such as composite scoring systems and/or transient elastography. A multidisciplinary approach to treatment is advised, centred on amelioration of cardiometabolic risk through lifestyle and pharmacological interventions. Despite the current lack of licensed, liver-targeted pharmacotherapy, several promising agents are undergoing late-phase clinical trials to complement standard management in patients with advanced disease. This review summarises the current concepts in diagnosis and disease progression of non-alcoholic liver disease, focusing on pragmatic approaches to risk assessment and management in both primary and secondary care settings.

Open access

E N Dudinskaya, O N Tkacheva, M V Shestakova, N V Brailova, I D Strazhesko, D U Akasheva, O Y Isaykina, N V Sharashkina, D A Kashtanova, and S A Boytsov

It is known that glucose disturbances contribute to micro- and macrovascular complications and vascular aging. Telomere length is considered to be a cellular aging biomarker. It is important to determine the telomere length role in vascular structural and functional changes in patients with diabetes mellitus. We conducted a cross-sectional observational study in a high-risk population from Moscow, Russia. The study included 50 patients with diabetes and without clinical cardiovascular disease and 49 control group participants. Glucose metabolism assessment tests, measuring intima–media complex thickness and determining the presence of atherosclerotic plaques, pulse wave velocity measurement, and telomere length measurement were administered to all participants. Vascular changes were more dramatic in patients with diabetes than in the control group, and the telomeres were shorter in patients with diabetes. Significant differences were found in the vascular wall condition among diabetes patients, and there were no substantial differences in the arterial structure between patients with ‘long’ telomeres; however, there were statistically significant differences in the vascular wall condition between patients with ‘short’ telomeres. Vascular ageing signs were more prominent in patients with diabetes. However, despite diabetes, vascular changes in patients with long telomeres were very modest and were similar to the vascular walls in healthy individuals. Thus, long lymphocyte telomeres may have a protective effect on the vascular wall and may prevent vascular wall deterioration caused by glucose metabolism disorders.

Open access

Elena Izkhakov, Joseph Meyerovitch, Micha Barchana, Yacov Shacham, Naftali Stern, and Lital Keinan-Boker

Objective

Thyroid cancer (TC) survivors may be at risk of subsequent cardiovascular and cerebrovascular (CaV&CeV) morbidity. The 2009 American Thyroid Association (ATA) guidelines recommended less aggressive treatment for low-risk TC patients. The aim of this study was to assess the atherosclerotic CaV&CeV outcome of Israeli TC survivors compared to individuals with no thyroid disease, and the atherosclerotic CaV&CeV outcome before (2000–2008) and after (2009–2011) implementation of the 2009 ATA guidelines.

Methods

All members of the largest Israeli healthcare organization who were diagnosed with TC from 1/2000 to 12/2014 (study group) and age- and sex-matched members with no thyroid disease (controls) were included. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards models.

Results

The mean follow-up was 7.6 ± 4.2 and 7.8 ± 4.1 years for the study (n = 5,677, 79% women) and control (n = 23,962) groups, respectively. The former had an increased risk of new atherosclerotic CaV&CeV events (adjusted HR 1.26, 95% CI 1.15–1.39). The 5-year incidence of CaV&CeV was lower (adjusted HR 0.49, 95% CI 0.38–0.62) from 2009 to 2011 compared to 2000 to 2008, but remained higher in the study group than in the control group (adjusted HR 1.5, 95% CI 1.14–1.69).

Conclusions

This large Israeli population-based cohort study showed greater atherosclerotic CaV&CeV morbidity in TC survivors compared to individuals with no thyroid diseases. There was a trend toward a decreased 5-year incidence of atherosclerotic CaV&CeV events among TC survivors following the implementation of the 2009 ATA guidelines, but it remained higher compared to the general population.