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Sigrid Bjerge Gribsholt Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
Steno Diabetes Center Aarhus, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark

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Morten Schmidt Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Department of Cardiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark

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Eskild Bendix Kristiansen Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark

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Bjørn Richelsen Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
Steno Diabetes Center Aarhus, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark

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Henrik Toft Sørensen Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark

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Objective

The aim was to examine the association between hospital-diagnosed overweight/obesity and incident CVD according to the time period of the overweight/obesity diagnosis.

Design

This is a cohort study.

Methods

From Danish national health registries, we identified all residents with a first-time hospital-based overweight/obesity diagnosis code, 1977–2018 (n = 195,221), and an age and sex-matched general population comparison cohort (n = 1,952,210). We computed adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using Cox regression. We adjusted for comorbidities and educational level and applied 10 years of follow-up.

Results

The overall incidence rate was 10.1 (95% CI 10.0–10.1) per 1000 person-years for the comparison cohort and 25.1 (95% CI 24.8–25.4) per 1000 person-years for the overweight/obesity cohort, corresponding to an aHR of 2.5 (95% CI 2.4–2.5). The aHR was elevated for all subtypes of CVD: heart failure: 3.9 (95% CI 3.7–4.1), bradyarrhythmia: 2.9 (95% CI 2.7–3.1), angina pectoris: 2.7 (95% CI 2.7–2.8), atrial fibrillation or flutter: 2.6 (95% CI 2.5–2.6), acute myocardial infarction: 2.4 (95% CI 2.3–2.4), revascularization procedure: 2.4 (95% CI 2.2–2.5), valvular heart disease: 1.7 (95% CI 1.6–1.8), ischemic stroke: 1.6 (95% CI 1.4–1.7), transient ischemic attack: 1.6 (95% CI 1.5–1.7), and cardiovascular death: 1.6 (95% CI 1.5–1.6). The 1–10-year aHR of any CVD associated with an overweight/obesity diagnosis decreased from 2.8 (95% CI 2.7–2.9) in 1977–1987 to 1.8 (95% CI 1.8–1.9) in 2008–2018.

Conclusion

Patients with hospital-diagnosed overweight/obesity had high rates of ischemic heart disease, heart failure, structural heart disease, arrhythmia, stroke, and death, although the strength of the association decreased in recent years.

Significance statement

Obesity is linked to metabolic abnormalities that predispose individuals to an increased risk of subtypes of CVD. In this population-based nationwide 40-year cohort study, we found that of 195,221 patients with an overweight/obesity diagnosis, more than 31,000 (15.9%) were admitted to hospital within 10 years because of CVD; corresponding to a 2.5-fold greater relative risk of any CVD associated with overweight/obesity than in the general population. We observed an increased risk for most CVD subtypes, including ischemic heart disease, heart failure, structural heart disease, arrhythmia, stroke, and cardiovascular death, although the strength of the association decreased in recent years. Our study emphasizes the importance of improved clinical handling of obesity and underscores the need to prevent associated complications to alleviate the burden of obesity.

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Chaiho Jeong Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Bongseong Kim Department of Medical Statistics, Soongsil University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Jinyoung Kim Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Hansang Baek Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Mee Kyoung Kim Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Tae-Seo Sohn Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Ki-Hyun Baek Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Ki-Ho Song Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Hyun-Shik Son Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Kyungdo Han Department of Medical Statistics, Soongsil University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Hyuk-Sang Kwon Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Objective

Real-world-based population data about the optimal low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level for preventing cardiovascular disease in very high-risk populations is scarce.

Methods

From 2009 to 2012, 26,922 people aged ≥ 40 years with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) who had a history of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) were analyzed. Data from the Korean National Health Insurance System were used. They were followed up to the date of a cardiovascular event or the time to death, or until December 31, 2018. Endpoints were recurrent PCI, newly stroke or heart failure, cardiovascular death, and all-cause death. Participants were divided into the following categories according to LDL-C level: <55 mg/dL, 55–69 mg/dL, 70–99 mg/dL, 100–129 mg/dL, 130–159 mg/dL, and ≥ 160 mg/dL.

Results

Compared to LDL-C < 55 mg/dL, the hazard ratios (HR) for re-PCI and stroke increased linearly with increasing LDL-C level in the population < 65 years. However, in ≥ 65 years old, HRs for re-PCI and stroke in LDL-C = 55–69 mg/dL were 0.97 (95% CI: 0.85–1.11) and 0.96 (95% CI: 0.79–2.23), respectively. The optimal range with the lowest HR for heart failure and all-cause mortality were LDL-C = 70–99 mg/dL and LDL-C = 55–69 mg/dL, respectively, in all age groups (HR: 0.99, 95% CI: 0.91–1.08 and HR: 0.91, 95% CI: 0.81–1.01).

Conclusion

LDL-C level below 55 mg/dL appears to be optimal in T2DM patients with established cardiovascular disease aged < 65 years, while an LDL-C level of 55–69 mg/dL may be optimal for preventing recurrent PCI and stroke in patients over 65 years old.

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Madalena von Hafe Department of Surgery and Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

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João Sergio Neves Department of Surgery and Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Centro Hospitalar São João, Porto, Portugal

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Catarina Vale Department of Surgery and Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

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Marta Borges-Canha Department of Surgery and Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Centro Hospitalar São João, Porto, Portugal

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Adelino Leite-Moreira Department of Surgery and Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

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Thyroid hormones have a central role in cardiovascular homeostasis. In myocardium, these hormones stimulate both diastolic myocardial relaxation and systolic myocardial contraction, have a pro-angiogenic effect and an important role in extracellular matrix maintenance. Thyroid hormones modulate cardiac mitochondrial function. Dysfunction of thyroid axis impairs myocardial bioenergetic status. Both overt and subclinical hypothyroidism are associated with a higher incidence of coronary events and an increased risk of heart failure progression. Endothelial function is also impaired in hypothyroid state, with decreased nitric oxide-mediated vascular relaxation. In heart disease, particularly in ischemic heart disease, abnormalities in thyroid hormone levels are common and are an important factor to be considered. In fact, low thyroid hormone levels should be interpreted as a cardiovascular risk factor. Regarding ischemic heart disease, during the late post-myocardial infarction period, thyroid hormones modulate left ventricular structure, function and geometry. Dysfunction of thyroid axis might even be more prevalent in the referred condition since there is an upregulation of type 3 deiodinase in myocardium, producing a state of local cardiac hypothyroidism. In this focused review, we summarize the central pathophysiological and clinical links between altered thyroid function and ischemic heart disease. Finally, we highlight the potential benefits of thyroid hormone supplementation as a therapeutic target in ischemic heart disease.

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Tsuneo Ogawa Cardiovascular Endocrinology Laboratory, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, 40 Ruskin Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1Y 4W7

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Adolfo J de Bold Cardiovascular Endocrinology Laboratory, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, 40 Ruskin Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1Y 4W7

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The concept of the heart as an endocrine organ arises from the observation that the atrial cardiomyocytes in the mammalian heart display a phenotype that is partly that of endocrine cells. Investigations carried out between 1971 and 1983 characterised, by virtue of its natriuretic properties, a polypeptide referred to atrial natriuretic factor (ANF). Another polypeptide isolated from brain in 1988, brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), was subsequently characterised as a second hormone produced by the mammalian heart atria. These peptides were associated with the maintenance of extracellular fluid volume and blood pressure. Later work demonstrated a plethora of other properties for ANF and BNP, now designated cardiac natriuretic peptides (cNPs). In addition to the cNPs, other polypeptide hormones are expressed in the heart that likely act upon the myocardium in a paracrine or autocrine fashion. These include the C-type natriuretic peptide, adrenomedullin, proadrenomedullin N-terminal peptide and endothelin-1. Expression and secretion of ANF and BNP are increased in various cardiovascular pathologies and their levels in blood are used in the diagnosis and prognosis of cardiovascular disease. In addition, therapeutic uses for these peptides or related substances have been found. In all, the discovery of the endocrine heart provided a shift from the classical functional paradigm of the heart that regarded this organ solely as a blood pump to one that regards this organ as self-regulating its workload humorally and that also influences the function of several other organs that control cardiovascular function.

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L E Zijlstra Department of Cardiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands

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D M van Velzen Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Endocrinology, Northwest Clinics, Alkmaar, The Netherlands

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S Simsek Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Endocrinology, Northwest Clinics, Alkmaar, The Netherlands

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S P Mooijaart Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands

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M van Buren Department of Nephrology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
Department of Internal Medicine, HagaHospital, The Hague, The Netherlands

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D J Stott Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

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I Ford Robertson Centre for Biostatistics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

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J W Jukema Department of Cardiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands

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S Trompet Department of Cardiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands

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Objective

Thyroid hormones have been implicated to play a role in cardiovascular disease, along with studies linking thyroid hormone to kidney function. The aim of this study is to investigate whether kidney function modifies the association of subclinical thyroid dysfunction and the risk of cardiovascular outcomes.

Methods

In total, 5804 patients were included in the PROspective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER). For the current analysis, 426 were excluded because of overt thyroid disease at baseline or 6 months, 266 because of inconsistent thyroid function at baseline and 6 months, 294 because of medication use that could influence thyroid function, and 16 because of missing kidney or thyroid values. Participants with normal fT4 were classified, based on TSH both at inclusion and 6 months, into three groups: subclinical hypothyroidism (TSH >4.5 mIU/L); euthyroidism (TSH = 0.45–4.5 mIU/L); and subclinical hyperthyroidism (TSH <0.45 mIU/L). Strata of kidney function were made based on estimated glomerular filtration rate into three clinically relevant groups: <45, 45–60, and >60 mL/min/1.73 m2. The primary endpoint consists of death from coronary heart disease, non-fatal myocardial infarction and (non)fatal stroke.

Results

Mean age was 75.3 years, and 49.0% patients were male. Mean follow-up was 3.2 years. Of all participants, 109 subjects (2.2%) had subclinical hypothyroidism, 4573 (94.0%) had euthyroidism, and 182 (3.7%) subclinical hyperthyroidism. For patients with subclinical hypothyroidism, euthyroidism, and subclinical hyperthyroidism, primary outcome occurred in 9 (8.3%), 712 (15.6%), and 23 (12.6%) patients, respectively. No statistically significant relationship was found between subclinical thyroid dysfunction and primary endpoint with adjusted hazard ratios of 0.51 (0.24–1.07) comparing subclinical hyperthyroidism and 0.90 (0.58–1.39) comparing subclinical hypothyroidism with euthyroidism. Neither was this relationship present in any of the strata of kidney function, nor did kidney function interact with subclinical thyroid dysfunction in the association with primary endpoint (P interaction = 0.602 for subclinical hyperthyroidism and 0.388 for subclinical hypothyroidism).

Conclusions

In this secondary analysis from PROSPER, we found no evidence that the potential association between thyroid hormones and cardiovascular disease is modified by kidney function in older patients with subclinical thyroid dysfunction.

Open access
Hugo R Ramos Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Metabolic Vascular Medicine, Division of Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences, Cardiovascular Endocrinology Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, Hospital de Urgencias, National University of Córdoba, X5000 Córdoba, Argentina

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Andreas L Birkenfeld Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Metabolic Vascular Medicine, Division of Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences, Cardiovascular Endocrinology Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, Hospital de Urgencias, National University of Córdoba, X5000 Córdoba, Argentina
Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Metabolic Vascular Medicine, Division of Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences, Cardiovascular Endocrinology Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, Hospital de Urgencias, National University of Córdoba, X5000 Córdoba, Argentina

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Adolfo J de Bold Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Metabolic Vascular Medicine, Division of Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences, Cardiovascular Endocrinology Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, Hospital de Urgencias, National University of Córdoba, X5000 Córdoba, Argentina

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Since their discovery in 1981, the cardiac natriuretic peptides (cNP) atrial natriuretic peptide (also referred to as atrial natriuretic factor) and brain natriuretic peptide have been well characterised in terms of their renal and cardiovascular actions. In addition, it has been shown that cNP plasma levels are strong predictors of cardiovascular events and mortality in populations with no apparent heart disease as well as in patients with established cardiac pathology. cNP secretion from the heart is increased by humoral and mechanical stimuli. The clinical significance of cNP plasma levels has been shown to differ in obese and non-obese subjects. Recent lines of evidence suggest important metabolic effects of the cNP system, which has been shown to activate lipolysis, enhance lipid oxidation and mitochondrial respiration. Clinically, these properties lead to browning of white adipose tissue and to increased muscular oxidative capacity. In human association studies in patients without heart disease higher cNP concentrations were observed in lean, insulin-sensitive subjects. Highly elevated cNP levels are generally observed in patients with systolic heart failure or high blood pressure, while obese and type-2 diabetics display reduced cNP levels. Together, these observations suggest that the cNP system plays a role in the pathophysiology of metabolic vascular disease. Understanding this role should help define novel principles in the treatment of cardiometabolic disease.

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Peter Wolf Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine III, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

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Yvonne Winhofer Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine III, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

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Martin Krššák Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine III, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
High Field MR Centre, Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

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Michael Krebs Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine III, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

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Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in general population. Besides well-known risk factors such as hypertension, impaired glucose tolerance and dyslipidemia, growing evidence suggests that hormonal changes in various endocrine diseases also impact the cardiac morphology and function. Recent studies highlight the importance of ectopic intracellular myocardial and pericardial lipid deposition, since even slight changes of these fat depots are associated with alterations in cardiac performance. In this review, we overview the effects of hormones, including insulin, thyroid hormones, growth hormone and cortisol, on heart function, focusing on their impact on myocardial lipid metabolism, cardiac substrate utilization and ectopic lipid deposition, in order to highlight the important role of even subtle hormonal changes for heart function in various endocrine and metabolic diseases.

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Thera P Links Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands

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Trynke van der Boom Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands

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Wouter T Zandee Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands

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Joop D Lefrandt Division of Vascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands

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Thyroid hormone stimulates cardiac inotropy and chronotropy via direct genomic and non-genomic mechanisms. Hyperthyroidism magnifies these effects, resulting in an increase in heart rate, ejection fraction and blood volume. Hyperthyroidism also affects thrombogenesis and this may be linked to a probable tendency toward thrombosis in patients with hyperthyroidism. Patients with hyperthyroidism are therefore at higher risk for atrial fibrillation, heart failure and cardiovascular mortality. Similarly, TSH suppressive therapy for differentiated thyroid cancer is associated with increased cardiovascular risk. In this review, we present the latest insights on the cardiac effects of thyroid suppression therapy for the treatment of thyroid cancer. Finally, we will show new clinical data on how to implement this knowledge into the clinical practice of preventive medicine.

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Signe Frøssing Department of Internal Medicine, Center of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Herlev Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Malin Nylander Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Herlev Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Caroline Kistorp Department of Internal Medicine, Center of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Herlev Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Sven O Skouby Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Herlev Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Jens Faber Department of Internal Medicine, Center of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Herlev Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Context

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and biomarkers can be used to detect early subclinical CVD. Midregional-pro-adrenomedullin (MR-proADM), midregional-pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP) and copeptin are all associated with CVD and part of the delicate system controlling fluid and hemodynamic homeostasis through vascular tonus and diuresis. The GLP-1 receptor agonist liraglutide, developed for treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2D), improves cardiovascular outcomes in patients with T2D including a decrease in particular MR-proANP.

Objective

To investigate if treatment with liraglutide in women with PCOS reduces levels of the cardiovascular biomarkers MR-proADM, MR-proANP and copeptin.

Methods

Seventy-two overweight women with PCOS were treated with 1.8 mg/day liraglutide or placebo for 26 weeks in a placebo-controlled RCT. Biomarkers, anthropometrics, insulin resistance, body composition (DXA) and visceral fat (MRI) were examined.

Results

Baseline median (IQR) levels were as follows: MR-proADM 0.52 (0.45–0.56) nmol/L, MR-proANP 44.8 (34.6–56.7) pmol/L and copeptin 4.95 (3.50–6.50) pmol/L. Mean percentage differences (95% CI) between liraglutide and placebo group after treatment were as follows: MR-proADM −6% (−11 to 2, P = 0.058), MR-proANP −25% (−37 to −11, P = 0.001) and copeptin +4% (−13 to 25, P = 0.64). Reduction in MR-proANP concentration correlated with both increased heart rate and diastolic blood pressure in the liraglutide group. Multiple regression analyses with adjustment for BMI, free testosterone, insulin resistance, visceral fat, heart rate and eGFR showed reductions in MR-proANP to be independently correlated with an increase in the heart rate.

Conclusion

In an RCT, liraglutide treatment in women with PCOS reduced levels of the cardiovascular risk biomarkers MR-proANP with 25% and MR-proADM with 6% (borderline significance) compared with placebo. The decrease in MR-proANP was independently associated with an increase in the heart rate.

Open access
Alexander V Amram Department of Physiology, Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA
Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA

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Stephen Cutie Department of Physiology, Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA
Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA

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Guo N Huang Department of Physiology, Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA
Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA

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Research conducted across phylogeny on cardiac regenerative responses following heart injury implicates endocrine signaling as a pivotal regulator of both cardiomyocyte proliferation and heart regeneration. Three prominently studied endocrine factors are thyroid hormone, vitamin D, and glucocorticoids, which canonically regulate gene expression through their respective nuclear receptors thyroid hormone receptor, vitamin D receptor, and glucocorticoid receptor. The main animal model systems of interest include humans, mice, and zebrafish, which vary in cardiac regenerative responses possibly due to the differential onsets and intensities of endocrine signaling levels throughout their embryonic to postnatal organismal development. Zebrafish and lower vertebrates tend to retain robust cardiac regenerative capacity into adulthood while mice and other higher vertebrates experience greatly diminished cardiac regenerative potential in their initial postnatal period that is sustained throughout adulthood. Here, we review recent progress in understanding how these three endocrine signaling pathways regulate cardiomyocyte proliferation and heart regeneration with a particular focus on the controversial findings that may arise from different assays, cellular-context, age, and species. Further investigating the role of each endocrine nuclear receptor in cardiac regeneration from an evolutionary perspective enables comparative studies between species in hopes of extrapolating the findings to novel therapies for human cardiovascular disease.

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