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Open access

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


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)).


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.


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.


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

V Guarnotta, C Di Stefano, A Santoro, A Ciresi, A Coppola, and C Giordano


Dual-release hydrocortisone (DR-HC) improves metabolism in patients with adrenal insufficiency. The aims of this study were to compare the cardiovascular and metabolic effects of conventional glucocorticoids (GCs) vs. DR-HC and of high vs. low doses of GCs, after 48 months of observation.


We selected 27 patients on hydrocortisone (mean dose 17.5 ± 4.2 mg/day) and 20 patients on cortisone acetate (mean dose 37.5 ± 12.1 mg/day) who maintained this treatment (group A) and 53 patients switched to DR-HC (mean dose 22 ± 4.8 mg/day) (group B). At baseline and after 48 months, clinical and metabolic parameters and Framingham Risk Score (FRS) were obtained.


After 48 months, patients in group A had a significant increase from baseline in BMI (P < 0.001), waist circumference (P = 0.001), systolic blood pressure (P = 0.001), LDL cholesterol (P = 0.018), HbA1c (P = 0.020) and FRS (P = 0.002). By contrast, patients in group B had a significant decrease in BMI (P = 0.002), waist circumference (P = 0.015), diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.031), total (P = 0.006) and LDL cholesterol (P = 0.005), HbA1c (P < 0.001) and FRS (P = 0.015) compared to baseline. No significant differences between high and low doses of both conventional GCs and DR-HC were observed.


DR-HC is associated with an improvement of metabolic parameters and cardiovascular risk compared to conventional GCs, which are associated with a worsening of these parameters, regardless of the dose used.

Open access

Mark R Postma, Pia Burman, and André P van Beek


Adult-onset growth hormone deficiency (AGHD) is usually the last deficiency to be substituted in hypopituitarism. In children with documented GH deficiency, treatment without delay is crucial for achieving optimal effects on growth and development. In adults, it is not known whether a delay in treatment initiation influences biochemical response and the favourable physiological effects resulting from GH replacement therapy (GHRT).


A total of 1085 GH-deficient adults from KIMS (Pfizer International Metabolic Database) were included, adequately replaced with all pituitary hormones except for GH at baseline. Patients were stratified by sex and age (20–50 years and ≥50 years) and subsequently divided into two groups below and above the median duration of unsubstituted AGHD for that subgroup. The median time of unsubstituted GHD for the total cohort was 2.53 years (P5 = 0.35, P95 = 24.42).


Beneficial effects of 4 years of GHRT were observed on lipids and quality of life in all subgroups. A decrease in waist circumference was observed only in older (>50 years) patients. There was no difference in IGF-I SDS and in GH dose required to normalize IGF-I in patients with a duration of unsubstituted AGHD above or below the median. No relevant differences were found between the groups for anthropometric measures, cardiovascular risk factors and quality of life scores.


In contrast to GHD in children and adolescents, no difference could be established in treatment response between early or late initiation of GHRT in AGHD in terms of required GH dose, IGF-I, metabolic health and quality of life.

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

Milica Popovic, Fahim Ebrahimi, Sandrine Andrea Urwyler, Marc Yves Donath, and Mirjam Christ-Crain

Arginine vasopressin (AVP) was suggested to contribute to cardiovascular risk and type 2 diabetes in patients with metabolic syndrome. The proinflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-1 is able to induce AVP secretion and plays a causal role in cardiovascular mortality and type 2 diabetes. We investigated in two studies whether copeptin levels – the surrogate marker for AVP – are regulated by IL-1-mediated chronic inflammation in patients with metabolic syndrome. Study A was a prospective, interventional, single-arm study (2014–2016). Study B was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study (2016–2017). n = 73 (Study A) and n = 66 (Study B) adult patients with metabolic syndrome were treated with 100 mg anakinra or placebo (only in study B) twice daily for 1 day (study A) and 28 days (study B). Fasting blood samples were drawn at day 1, 7, and 28 of treatment for measurement of serum copeptin. Patients with chronic low-grade inflammation (C-reactive protein levels ≥2 mg/L) and BMI >35 kg/m2 had higher baseline copeptin levels (7.7 (IQR 4.9–11.9) vs 5.8 (IQR 3.9–9.3) pmol/L, P inflamm = 0.009; 7.8 (IQR 5.4–11.7) vs 4.9 (IQR 3.7–9.8) pmol/L, P BMI = 0.008). Copeptin levels did not change either in the anakinra or in the placebo group and remained stable throughout the treatment (P = 0.44). Subgroup analyses did not reveal effect modifications. Therefore, we conclude that, although IL-1-mediated inflammation is associated with increased circulating copeptin levels, antagonizing IL-1 does not significantly alter copeptin levels in patients with metabolic syndrome.

Open access

Chunliang Yang, Junyi Li, Fei Sun, Haifeng Zhou, Jia Yang, and Chao Yang

Hyperglycemia is the consequence of blood glucose dysregulation and a driving force of diabetic complications including retinopathy, nephropathy and cardiovascular diseases. The serum and glucocorticoid inducible kinase-1 (SGK1) has been suggested in the modulation of various pathophysiological activities. However, the role of SGK1 in blood glucose homeostasis remains less appreciated. In this review, we intend to summarize the function of SGK1 in glucose level regulation and to examine the evidence supporting the therapeutic potential of SGK1 inhibitors in hyperglycemia. Ample evidence points to the controversial roles of SGK1 in pancreatic insulin secretion and peripheral insulin sensitivity, which reflects the complex interplay between SGK1 activation and blood glucose fluctuation. Furthermore, SGK1 is engaged in glucose absorption and excretion in intestine and kidney and participates in the progression of hyperglycemia-induced secondary organ damage. As a net effect, blockage of SGK1 activation via either pharmacological inhibition or genetic manipulation seems to be helpful in glucose control at varying diabetic stages.

Open access

Antonia Ertelt, Ann-Kristin Barton, Robert R Schmitz, and Heidrun Gehlen

This review summarizes similarities and differences between the metabolic syndromes in humans and equines, concerning the anatomy, symptoms, and pathophysiological mechanisms. In particular, it discusses the structure and distribution of adipose tissue and its specific metabolic pathways. Furthermore, this article provides insights and focuses on issues concerning laminitis in horses and cardiovascular diseases in humans, as well as their overlap.

Open access

Pinaki Dutta, Bhuvanesh Mahendran, K Shrinivas Reddy, Jasmina Ahluwalia, Kim Vaiphei, Rakesh K Kochhar, Prakamya Gupta, Anand Srinivasan, Mahesh Prakash, Kanchan Kumar Mukherjee, Viral N Shah, Girish Parthan, and Anil Bhansali

The effectiveness and short-term safety of recombinant human GH (r-hGH) in acromegaly patients with GH deficiency (GHD) after treatment are not well established. The study includes ten subjects with acromegaly who had GHD treated with r-hGH for 6 months. Control groups consisted of ten age-, gender-, and BMI-matched healthy subjects and ten active acromegaly patients who were treatment naïve. Body composition, quality of life (QoL), muscle strength, lipid profile, and cardiovascular risk factors were assessed in all subjects at baseline, and the same parameters were reassessed after 6 months of therapy with r-hGH in acromegaly with GHD. Repeat magnetic resonance imaging of the sella was performed in treated subjects. Optical colonoscopy was done and biopsies were taken from multiple sites for proliferation indices (Ki67). The median duration of GHD was 17.8 months and dose of r-hGH administered was 5.7±1.5 μg/kg per day. There was improvement in bone mineral content (P=0.01), bone mineral density (P=0.04), muscle strength (P<0.001), total cholesterol (P=0.003), high-density cholesterol (P<0.001), and QoL – score (P=0.005), and reduction in low-density cholesterol (P=0.003) and triglyceride (P=0.004) after treatment. There was no change in lean body mass, total body fat, hsCRP, lipoprotein (a), and fibrinogen levels. There was a modest increase in plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (P=0.002), but it was lower compared with healthy controls and treatment naïve acromegalics (P=0.007). Six month-r-hGH therapy improves body composition, atherogenic lipid profile, QoL, and muscle strength in GHD patients who had acromegaly. Long-term prospective studies are needed to evaluate the effect of r-hGH therapy in these patients.

Open access

Thomas Reinehr, Alberto Sánchez-Guijo, Nina Lass, and Stefan A Wudy


Little information is available on the steroid sulfates profile in obese children. Therefore, we examined whether sulfated steroids are linked with weight status and associated comorbidities in obese children.


We analyzed 66 obese children (mean age 10.5 ± 2.5 years, 57.6% female, 53.9% prepubertal, mean BMI 27.0 ± 4.6 kg/m2, 50% with BMI-SDS reduction >0.5, 50% without BMI-SDS reduction) who participated in an outpatient 1-year intervention program based on exercise, behavior and nutrition therapy. We measured intact sulfated steroids (cholesterol sulfate (CS), pregnenolone sulfate (PregS), 17αOH pregnenolone sulfate (17OH-PregS), 16αOH dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (16OH-DHEAS), DHEAS, androstenediol-3-sulfate, androsterone sulfate and epiandrosterone sulfate) by LC–MS/MS, and insulin resistance index HOMA, lipids, blood pressure at baseline and 1 year later.


All sulfated steroids except 17OH-PregS, 16OH-DHEAS, androsterone sulfate and epiandrosterone sulfate were higher in boys compared to girls. Concentrations of CS before intervention were higher in children who lost weight. After 1 year of treatment, both groups showed increased levels of DHEAS, 16OH-DHEAS and androstenediol-3-sulfate, but PregS was only increased in children with weight loss. None of the steroid sulfates was significantly related to cardiovascular risk factors or HOMA except 17OH-PregS, which was associated with systolic blood pressure both in cross-sectional (β-coefficient: 0.09 ± 0.07, P = 0.020) and longitudinal analyses (β-coefficient: 0.06 ± 0.04, P = 0.013) in multiple linear regression analyses.


Since higher steroid sulfation capacity was associated with successful weight intervention in children disruption of sulfation may be associated with difficulties to lose weight. Future studies are necessary to prove this hypothesis.

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.