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Open access

Xiuzhen Zhang, Dan Xu, Ping Xu, Shufen Yang, Qingmei Zhang, Yan Wu, and Fengyi Yuan

Introduction

Metformin has been demonstrated to enhance cardioprotective benefits in type 1 diabetes (T1DM). Although glycemic variability (GV) is associated with increased risk of CVD in diabetes, there is a scarcity of research evaluating the effect of metformin on GV in T1DM.

Objectives

In the present study, the effects of adjuvant metformin therapy on GV and metabolic control in T1DM were explored.

Patients and methods

A total of 65 adults with T1DM were enrolled and subjected to physical examination, fasting laboratory tests, and continuous glucose monitoring, and subsequently randomized 1:1 to 3 months of 1000–2000 mg metformin daily add-on insulin (MET group, n = 34) or insulin (non-MET group, n = 31). After, baseline measurements were repeated.

Results

The mean amplitude of glycemic excursions was substantially reduced in MET group, compared with non-MET group (–1.58 (–3.35, 0.31) mmol/L vs 1.36 (–1.12, 2.24) mmol/L, P = 0.004). In parallel, the largest amplitude of glycemic excursions (–2.83 (–5.47, –0.06) mmol/L vs 0.45 (–1.29, 4.48) mmol/L, P = 0.004), the s.d. of blood glucose (–0.85 (–1.51, 0.01) mmol/L vs –0.14 (–0.68, 1.21) mmol/L, P = 0.015), and the coefficient of variation (–6.66 (–15.00, 1.50)% vs –1.60 (–6.28, 11.71)%, P = 0.012) all demonstrated improvement in the MET group, compared with the non-MET group. Significant reduction in insulin dose, BMI, and body weight was observed in patients in MET, not those in non-MET group.

Conclusion

Additional metformin therapy improved GV in adults with T1DM, as well as improving body composition and reducing insulin requirement. Hence, metformin as an adjunctive therapy has potential prospects in reducing the CVD risk in patients with T1DM in the long term.

Open access

K Amrein, A Papinutti, E Mathew, G Vila, and D Parekh

The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in intensive care units ranges typically between 40 and 70%. There are many reasons for being or becoming deficient in the ICU. Hepatic, parathyroid and renal dysfunction additionally increases the risk for developing vitamin D deficiency. Moreover, therapeutic interventions like fluid resuscitation, dialysis, surgery, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, cardiopulmonary bypass and plasma exchange may significantly reduce vitamin D levels. Many observational studies have consistently shown an association between low vitamin D levels and poor clinical outcomes in critically ill adults and children, including excess mortality and morbidity such as acute kidney injury, acute respiratory failure, duration of mechanical ventilation and sepsis. It is biologically plausible that vitamin D deficiency is an important and modifiable contributor to poor prognosis during and after critical illness. Although vitamin D supplementation is inexpensive, simple and has an excellent safety profile, testing for and treating vitamin D deficiency is currently not routinely performed. Overall, less than 800 patients have been included in RCTs worldwide, but the available data suggest that high-dose vitamin D supplementation could be beneficial. Two large RCTs in Europe and the United States, together aiming to recruit >5000 patients, have started in 2017, and will greatly improve our knowledge in this field. This review aims to summarize current knowledge in this interdisciplinary topic and give an outlook on its highly dynamic future.

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

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

Ann-Kristin Picke, Graeme Campbell, Nicola Napoli, Lorenz C Hofbauer, and Martina Rauner

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is increasing worldwide, especially as a result of our aging society, high caloric intake and sedentary lifestyle. Besides the well-known complications of T2DM on the cardiovascular system, the eyes, kidneys and nerves, bone strength is also impaired in diabetic patients. Patients with T2DM have a 40–70% increased risk for fractures, despite having a normal to increased bone mineral density, suggesting that other factors besides bone quantity must account for increased bone fragility. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the complex effects of T2DM on bone including effects on bone cells, bone material properties and other endocrine systems that subsequently affect bone, discusses the effects of T2DM medications on bone and concludes with a model identifying factors that may contribute to poor bone quality and increased bone fragility in T2DM.

Open access

Mírian Romitti, Vitor C Fabris, Patricia K Ziegelmann, Ana Luiza Maia, and Poli Mara Spritzer

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most prevalent endocrine disorder affecting women of reproductive age. PCOS has been associated with distinct metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and with autoimmune conditions, predominantly autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD). AITD has been reported in 18–40% of PCOS women, depending on PCOS diagnostic criteria and ethnicity. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to summarize the available evidence regarding the likelihood of women with PCOS also having AITD in comparison to a reference group of non-PCOS women. We systematically searched EMBASE and MEDLINE for non-interventional case control, cross-sectional or cohort studies published until August 2017. The Ottawa–Newcastle Scale was used to assess the methodological quality of studies. Statistical meta-analysis was performed with R. Thirteen studies were selected for the present analysis, including 1210 women diagnosed with PCOS and 987 healthy controls. AITD was observed in 26.03 and 9.72% of PCOS and control groups respectively. A significant association was detected between PCOS and chance of AITD (OR = 3.27, 95% CI 2.32–4.63). Notably, after geographical stratification, the higher risk of AITD in PCOS women persisted for Asians (OR = 4.56, 95% CI 2.47–8.43), Europeans (OR = 3.27, 95% CI 2.07–5.15) and South Americans (OR = 1.86, 95% CI 1.05–3.29). AIDT is a frequent condition in PCOS patients and might affect thyroid function. Thus, screening for thyroid function and thyroid-specific autoantibodies should be considered in patients with PCOS even in the absence of overt symptoms. This systematic review and meta-analysis is registered in PROSPERO under number CRD42017079676.

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

Xiaomin Nie, Yiting Xu, Xiaojing Ma, Yun Shen, Yufei Wang, and Yuqian Bao

Background

A high level of free triiodothyronine (FT3) within the reference range may be a potential metabolic risk marker. However, the relationship between different fat depots and FT3 has remained unclear.

Objective

We aimed to explore the relationships between segmental fat distribution and FT3 in euthyroid middle-aged and elderly men and postmenopausal women.

Methods

A total of 891 subjects (394 men and 497 women) were enrolled. A bioelectrical impedance analyzer was used to measure total, trunk, arm and leg fat mass (FM) and fat percentage (fat%). The leg fat mass to trunk fat mass ratio (LTR) was calculated to evaluate the relative distribution of leg fat compared with that of trunk fat. Thyroid hormones were measured by electrochemical luminescence immunoassay.

Results

FT3 in men did not change significantly with increases in LTR quartiles, while FT3 in women decreased significantly (P for trend = 0.004). In multivariate linear regression analysis, multiple metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors were adjusted. The LTR was negatively related to FT3 in women (P < 0.05). After further mutual adjustment for trunk fat and leg fat parameters, trunk FM and fat% were positively related to FT3, while leg FM and fat% were negatively related to FT3 in women (all P < 0.05).

Conclusions

In euthyroid postmenopausal women, trunk fat was positively correlated with FT3, whereas leg fat was negatively correlated with FT3. Our findings supported that a high level of FT3 within the reference range was related to adverse fat distribution.

Open access

Eva Olga Melin, Jonatan Dereke, Maria Thunander, and Magnus Hillman

Objective

Neuroinflammatory responses are implicated in depression. The aim was to explore whether depression in patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) was associated with high circulating galectin-3, controlling for metabolic variables, s-creatinine, life style factors, medication and cardiovascular complications.

Design

Cross-sectional.

Methods

Participants were T1D patients (n = 283, 56% men, age 18–59 years, diabetes duration ≥1 year). Depression was assessed by Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-depression subscale. Blood samples, anthropometrics and blood pressure were collected, and supplemented with data from medical records and the Swedish National Diabetes Registry. Galectin-3 ≥2.562 µg/l, corresponding to the 85th percentile, was defined as high galectin-3.

Results

Median (quartile1, quartile3) galectin-3 (µg/l) was 1.3 (0.8, 2.9) for the 30 depressed patients, and 0.9 (0.5, 1.6) for the 253 non-depressed, P = 0.009. Depression was associated with high galectin-3 in all the 283 patients (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 3.5), in the 161 men (AOR 3.4), and in the 122 women (AOR 3.9). HbA1c, s-lipids, s-creatinine, blood pressure, obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, cardiovascular complications and drugs (antihypertensive, lipid lowering, oral antidiabetic drugs and antidepressants) were not associated with high galectin-3.

Conclusions

This is the first study to show an association between depression and galectin-3. Depression was the only explored parameter associated with high circulating galectin-3 levels in 283 T1D patients. High galectin-3 levels might contribute to the increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular and all-cause mortality observed in persons with depression. Potentially, in the future, treatment targeting galactin-3 might improve the prognosis for patients with high galectin-3 levels.

Open access

M von Wolff, C T Nakas, M Tobler, T M Merz, M P Hilty, J D Veldhuis, A R Huber, and J Pichler Hefti

Humans cannot live at very high altitude for reasons, which are not completely understood. Since these reasons are not restricted to cardiorespiratory changes alone, changes in the endocrine system might also be involved. Therefore, hormonal changes during prolonged hypobaric hypoxia were comprehensively assessed to determine effects of altitude and hypoxia on stress, thyroid and gonadal hypothalamus–pituitary hormone axes. Twenty-one male and 19 female participants were examined repetitively during a high-altitude expedition. Cortisol, prolactin, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), fT4 and fT3 and in males follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and total testosterone were analysed as well as parameters of hypoxemia, such as SaO2 and paO2 at 550 m (baseline) (n = 40), during ascent at 4844 m (n = 38), 6022 m (n = 31) and 7050 m (n = 13), at 4844 m (n = 29) after acclimatization and after the expedition (n = 38). Correlation analysis of hormone concentrations with oxygen parameters and with altitude revealed statistical association in most cases only with altitude. Adrenal, thyroid and gonadal axes were affected by increasing altitude. Adrenal axis and prolactin were first supressed at 4844 m and then activated with increasing altitude; thyroid and gonadal axes were directly activated or suppressed respectively with increasing altitude. Acclimatisation at 4844 m led to normalization of adrenal and gonadal but not of thyroid axes. In conclusion, acclimatization partly leads to a normalization of the adrenal, thyroid and gonadal axes at around 5000 m. However, at higher altitude, endocrine dysregulation is pronounced and might contribute to the physical degradation found at high altitude.