The introduction of adrenocortical extract in 1930 improved the life expectancy of hyhpoadrenal patients, with further increases seen after the introduction of cortisone acetate from 1948. Most patients are now treated with synthetic hydrocortisone, and incremental advances have been made with optimisation of daily dosing and the introduction of multidose regimens. There remains a significant mortality gap between individuals with treated hypoadrenalism and the general population. It is unclear whether this gap is a result of glucocorticoid over-replacement, under-replacement or loss of the circadian and ultradian rhythm of cortisol secretion, with the risk of detrimental excess glucocorticoid exposure at later times in the day. The way forwards will involve replacement of the diurnal cortisol rhythm with better glucocorticoid replacement regimens. The steroid profile produced by both prednisolone and dual-release hydrocortisone (Plenadren), provide a smoother glucocorticoid profile of cortisol than standard oral multidose regimens of hydrocortisone and cortisone acetate. The individualisation of prednisolone doses and lower bioavailability of Plenadren offer reductions in total steroid exposure. Although there is emerging evidence of both treatments offering better cardiometabolic outcomes than standard glucocorticoid replacement regimens, there is a paucity of evidence involving very low dose prednisolone (2–4 mg daily) compared to the larger doses (~7.5 mg) historically used. Data from upcoming clinical studies on prednisolone will therefore be of key importance in informing future practice.
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Sirazum Choudhury, Tricia Tan, Katharine Lazarus, and Karim Meeran
Jan Roar Mellembakken, Azita Mahmoudan, Lars Mørkrid, Inger Sundström-Poromaa, Laure Morin-Papunen, Juha S Tapanainen, Terhi T Piltonen, Angelica Lindén Hirschberg, Elisabet Stener-Victorin, Eszter Vanky, Pernille Ravn, Richard Christian Jensen, Marianne Skovsager Andersen, and Dorte Glintborg
Obesity is considered to be the strongest predictive factor for cardio-metabolic risk in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The aim of the study was to compare blood pressure (BP) in normal weight women with PCOS and controls matched for age and BMI.
From a Nordic cross-sectional base of 2615 individuals of Nordic ethnicity, we studied a sub cohort of 793 normal weight women with BMI < 25 kg/m2 (512 women with PCOS according to Rotterdam criteria and 281 age and BMI-matched controls). Participants underwent measurement of BP and body composition (BMI, waist-hip ratio), lipid status, and fasting BG. Data were presented as median (quartiles).
The median age for women with PCOS were 28 (25, 32) years and median BMI was 22.2 (20.7, 23.4) kg/m2. Systolic BP was 118 (109, 128) mmHg in women with PCOS compared to 110 (105, 120) mmHg in controls and diastolic BP was 74 (67, 81) vs 70 (64, 75) mmHg, both P < 0.001. The prevalence of women with BP ≥ 140/90 mmHg was 11.1% (57/512) in women with PCOS vs 1.8% (5/281) in controls, P < 0.001. In women ≥ 35 years the prevalence of BP ≥ 140/90 mmHg was comparable in women with PCOS and controls (12.7% vs 9.8%, P = 0.6). Using multiple regression analyses, the strongest association with BP was found for age, waist circumference, and total cholesterol in women with PCOS.
Normal weight women with PCOS have higher BP than controls. BP and metabolic screening are relevant also in young normal weight women with PCOS.
Stine A Holmboe, Ravi Jasuja, Brian Lawney, Lærke Priskorn, Niels Joergensen, Allan Linneberg, Tina Kold Jensen, Niels Erik Skakkebæk, Anders Juul, and Anna-Maria Andersson
Calculating the free testosterone level has gained increasing interest and different indirect algorithms have been suggested. The objective was to compare free androgen index (FAI), free testosterone estimated using the linear binding model (Vermeulen: cFTV) and the binding framework accounting for allosterically coupled SHBG monomers (Zakharov: cFTZ) in relation to cardiometabolic conditions.
A prospective cohort study including 5350 men, aged 30–70 years, participating in population-based surveys (MONICA I–III and Inter99) from 1982 to 2001 and followed until December 2012 with baseline and follow-up information on cardiometabolic parameters and vital status.
Using age-standardized hormone levels, FAI was higher among men with baseline cardiometabolic conditions, whereas cFTV and cFTZ levels were lower compared to men without these conditions as also seen for total testosterone. Men in highest quartiles of cFTV or cFTZ had lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes (cFTV: HR = 0.74 (0.49–1.10), cFTZ: HR = 0.59 (0.39–0.91)) than men in lowest quartile. In contrast, men with highest levels of FAI had a 74% (1.17–2.59) increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to men in lowest quartile.
The association of estimated free testosterone and the studied outcomes differ depending on algorithm used. cFTV and cFTZ showed similar associations to baseline and long-term cardiometabolic parameters. In contrast, an empiric ratio, FAI, showed opposite associations to several of the examined parameters and may reflect limited clinical utility.
Yen Kheng Tan, Yu Heng Kwan, David Choon Liang Teo, Marieke Velema, Jaap Deinum, Pei Ting Tan, Meifen Zhang, Joan Joo Ching Khoo, Wann Jia Loh, Linsey Gani, Thomas F J King, Eberta Jun Hui Tan, Shui Boon Soh, Vanessa Shu Chuan Au, Tunn Lin Tay, Lily Mae Quevedo Dacay, Keng Sin Ng, Kang Min Wong, Andrew Siang Yih Wong, Foo Cheong Ng, Tar Choon Aw, Yvonne Hui Bin Chan, Khim Leng Tong, Sheldon Shao Guang Lee, Siang Chew Chai, and Troy Hai Kiat Puar
In addition to increased cardiovascular risk, patients with primary aldosteronism (PA) also suffer from impaired health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and psychological symptoms. We assessed for changes in HRQoL and depressive symptoms in a cohort of Asian patients with PA, after surgical and medical therapy.
Thirty-four patients with PA were prospectively recruited and completed questionnaires from 2017 to 2020. HRQoL was assessed using RAND-36 and EQ-5D-3L, and depressive symptoms were assessed using Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) at baseline, 6 months, and 1 year post-treatment.
At 1 year post-treatment, significant improvement was observed in both physical and mental summative scores of RAND-36, +3.65, P = 0.023, and +3.41, P = 0.033, respectively, as well as four subscale domains (physical functioning, bodily pain, role emotional, and mental health). Significant improvement was also seen in EQ-5D dimension of anxiety/depression at 1 year post-treatment. Patients treated with surgery (n = 21) had significant improvement in EQ-5D index score post-treatment and better EQ-5D outcomes compared to the medical group (n = 13) at 1 year post-treatment. 37.9, 41.6 and 58.6% of patients had symptoms in the cognitive, affective and somatic domains of BDI-II, respectively. There was a significant improvement in the affective domain of BDI-II at 1 year post-treatment.
Both surgical and medical therapy improve HRQoL and psychological symptoms in patients with PA, with surgery providing better outcomes. This highlights the importance of early diagnosis, accurate subtyping and appropriate treatment of PA.
Valeria Hirschler, Claudia Molinari, Silvia Lapertosa, Gustavo Maccallini, and Claudio D Gonzalez
The association between central obesity and cardiometabolic complications justifies exploring its association in normal-weight and overweight/obese (OW/OB) schoolchildren.
To describe cardiometabolic markers in four groups according to BMI/WC categories: (i) normal weight with central OB; (ii) normal weight without central OB; (iii) OW/OB with central OB and (iv) OW/OB without central OB, in a sample of Argentinean schoolchildren.
A cross-sectional study of 1264 Argentinean schoolchildren (624 F), aged 9.5 ± 2.2 years was performed between November 2013 and 2015. Children’s anthropometric measures, blood pressure (BP), glucose, lipids, and insulin were measured. Children were divided into four groups: (i) normal weight with central OB; (ii) normal weight without central OB; (iii) OW/OB with central OB and (iv) OW/OB without central OB.
The prevalence of normal-weight children without central OB was 64.3% (796), normal weight with central OB 5% (66), OW/OB without central OB 11% (137), and OW/OB with central OB 21% (265). Normal weight with central OB had significantly higher triglycerides than normal-weight children without central OB (86 vs 70 mg/dL, respectively) and OW/OB children without central OB (81 vs 77 mg/dL). Multiple linear regression analyses showed that age, systolic BP, HDL-C, triglycerides, and maternal WC were significantly associated with children’s WC; R2 = 0.50 as well as children’s BMI; R2 = 0.37.
This study found that children with central OB might be at future higher cardiometabolic risk than those without central OB independently of the presence of OW/OB. However, future longitudinal studies should be performed to confirm these findings.
Siphiwe N Dlamini, Zané Lombard, Lisa K Micklesfield, Nigel Crowther, Shane A Norris, Tracy Snyman, Andrew A Crawford, Brian R Walker, and Julia H Goedecke
Circulating glucocorticoids are associated with metabolic syndrome and related cardiometabolic risk factors in non-Africans. This study investigated these associations in Africans, whose metabolic phenotype reportedly differs from Europeans. Adiposity, blood pressure, glycaemia, insulin resistance, and lipid profile, were measured in 316 African men and 788 African women living in Soweto, Johannesburg. The 2009 harmonized criteria were used to define metabolic syndrome. Serum glucocorticoids were measured using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Cortisol was associated with greater odds presenting with metabolic syndrome (odds ratio (95% CI) =1.50 (1.04, 2.17) and higher systolic (beta coefficient, β (95% CI) =0.04 (0.01, 0.08)) and diastolic (0.05 (0.02, 0.09)) blood pressure, but higher HDL (0.10 (0.02, 0.19)) and lower LDL (−0.14 (−0.24, −0.03)) cholesterol concentrations, in the combined sample of men and women. In contrast, corticosterone was only associated with higher insulin sensitivity (Matsuda index; 0.22 (0.03, 0.41)), but this was not independent of BMI. Sex-specific associations were observed, such that both cortisol and corticosterone were associated with higher fasting glucose (standardized β (95% CI): 0.24 (0.12, 0.36) for cortisol and 0.12 (0.01, 0.23) for corticosterone) and HbA1c (0.13 (0.01, 0.25) for cortisol and 0.12 (0.01, 0.24) for corticosterone) in men only, but lower HbA1c (0.10 (−0.20, −0.01) for cortisol and −0.09 (−0.18, −0.03) for corticosterone) in women only. Our study reports for the first time that associations between circulating glucocorticoid concentrations and key cardiometabolic risk factors exhibit both glucocorticoid- and sex-specificity in Africans.
Christine Rode Andreasen, Andreas Andersen, Filip Krag Knop, and Tina Vilsbøll
In recent years, glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) have become central in the treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2D). In addition to their glucose-lowering properties with low risk of hypoglycaemia, GLP-1RAs reduce body weight and show promising results in reducing cardiovascular risk and renal complications in high-risk individuals with T2D. These findings have changed guidelines on T2D management over the last years, and GLP-1RAs are now widely used in overweight patients with T2D as well as in patients with T2D and cardiovascular disease regardless of glycaemic control. The currently available GLP-1RAs have different pharmacokinetic profiles and differ in their ability to improve glycaemia, reduce body weight and in their cardio- and renal protective potentials. Understanding how these agents work, including insights into their pleiotropic effects on T2D pathophysiology, may improve their clinical utilisation and be useful for exploring other indications such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and neurodegenerative disorders. In this review, we provide an overview of approved GLP-1RAs, their clinical effects and mode of action, and we offer insights into the potential of GLP-1RAs for other indications than T2D. Finally, we will discuss the emerging data and therapeutic potential of using GLP-1RAs in combinations with other receptor agonists.
Xiao Zong, Qin Fan, Hang Zhang, Qian Yang, Hongyang Xie, Qiujing Chen, Ruiyan Zhang, and Rong Tao
To explore the relationship between soluble ST2 (sST2) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) and determine whether sST2 levels can predict the presence and severity of MetS. We evaluated 550 consecutive subjects (58.91 ± 9.69 years, 50% male) with or without MetS from the Department of Vascular & Cardiology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University-Affiliated Ruijin Hospital. Serum sST2 concentrations were measured. The participants were divided into three groups according to the sST2 tertiles. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression models were used to evaluate the association between serum sST2 concentrations and the presence of MetS. Serum sST2 concentrations were significantly higher in the MetS group than in those in the no MetS group (14.80 ± 7.01 vs 11.58 ± 6.41 ng/mL, P < 0.01). Subjects with more MetS components showed higher levels of sST2. sST2 was associated with the occurrence of MetS after multivariable adjustment as a continuous log-transformed variable (per 1 SD, odds ratio (OR): 1.42, 95% CI: 1.13–1.80, P < 0.01). Subgroup analysis showed that individuals with MetS have significantly higher levels of sST2 than those without MetS regardless of sex and age. High serum sST2 levels were significantly and independently associated with the presence and severity of MetS. Thus, sST2 levels may be a novel biomarker and clinical predictor of MetS.
Aliyu Tijani Jibril, Ahmad Jayedi, and Sakineh Shab-Bidar
To examine the dose-dependent influence of oral alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) supplementation on cardiometabolic risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D).
We followed the instructions outlined in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions and the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation Handbook to conduct our systematic review. The protocol of the study was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42021260587).
We searched PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science to May 2021 for trials of oral ALA supplementation in adults with T2D. The primary outcomes were HbA1c, weight loss, and LDL cholesterol (LDL-C). Secondary outcomes included fasting plasma glucose (FPG), triglyceride (TG), C-reactive protein (CRP), and blood pressure. We conducted a random-effects dose–response meta-analysis to calculate the mean difference (MD) and 95% CI for each 500 mg/day oral ALA supplementation. We performed a nonlinear dose–response meta-analysis using a restricted cubic spline.
We included 16 trials with 1035 patients. Each 500 mg/day increase in oral ALA supplementation significantly reduced HbA1c, body weight, CRP, FPG, and TG. Dose–response meta-analyses indicated a linear decrement in body weight at ALA supplementation of more than 600 mg/day (MD600 mg/day: −0.30 kg, 95% CI: −0.04, −0.57). A relatively J-shaped effect was seen for HbA1c (MD: −0.32%, 95% CI: −0.45, −0.18). Levels of FPG and LDL-C decreased up to 600 mg/day ALA intake. The point estimates were below minimal clinically important difference thresholds for all outcomes.
Despite significant improvements, the effects of oral ALA supplementation on cardiometabolic risk factors in patients with T2D were not clinically important.
Panagiotis Anagnostis, Irene Lambrinoudaki, John C Stevenson, and Dimitrios G Goulis
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is of major concern in women entering menopause. The changing hormonal milieu predisposes them to increased CVD risk, due to a constellation of risk factors, such as visceral obesity, atherogenic dyslipidemia, dysregulation in glucose homeostasis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and arterial hypertension. However, an independent association of menopause per se with increased risk of CVD events has only been proven for early menopause (<45 years). Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) ameliorates most of the CVD risk factors mentioned above. Transdermal estrogens are the preferable regimen, since they do not increase triglyceride concentrations and they are not associated with increased risk of venous thromboembolic events (VTE). Although administration of MHT should be considered on an individual basis, MHT may reduce CVD morbidity and mortality, if commenced during the early postmenopausal period (<60 years or within ten years since the last menstrual period). In women with premature ovarian insufficiency (POI), MHT should be administered at least until the average age of menopause (50–52 years). MHT is contraindicated in women with a history of VTE and is not currently recommended for the sole purpose of CVD prevention. The risk of breast cancer associated with MHT is generally low and is mainly conferred by the progestogen. Micronized progesterone and dydrogesterone are associated with lower risk compared to other progestogens.