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  • Author: J P T M van Leeuwen x
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T L C Wolters, C D C C van der Heijden, N van Leeuwen, B T P Hijmans-Kersten, M G Netea, J W A Smit, D H J Thijssen, A R M M Hermus, N P Riksen, and R T Netea-Maier


Acromegaly is characterized by an excess of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1). Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors are common in acromegaly and often persist after treatment. Both acute and long-lasting pro-inflammatory effects have been attributed to IGF1. Therefore, we hypothesized that inflammation persists in treated acromegaly and may contribute to CVD risk.


In this cross-sectional study, we assessed cardiovascular structure and function, and inflammatory parameters in treated acromegaly patients. Immune cell populations and inflammatory markers were assessed in peripheral blood from 71 treated acromegaly patients (with controlled or uncontrolled disease) and 41 matched controls. Whole blood (WB) was stimulated with Toll-like receptor ligands. In a subgroup of 21 controls and 33 patients with controlled disease, vascular ultrasound measurements were performed.


Leukocyte counts were lower in patients with controlled acromegaly compared to patients with uncontrolled acromegaly and controls. Circulating IL18 concentrations were lower in patients; concentrations of other inflammatory mediators were comparable with controls. In stimulated WB, cytokine production was skewed toward inflammation in patients, most pronounced in those with uncontrolled disease. Vascular measurements in controlled patients showed endothelial dysfunction as indicated by a lower flow-mediated dilatation/nitroglycerine-mediated dilatation ratio. Surprisingly, pulse wave analysis and pulse wave velocity, both markers of endothelial dysfunction, were lower in patients, whereas intima-media thickness did not differ.


Despite treatment, acromegaly patients display persistent inflammatory changes and endothelial dysfunction, which may contribute to CVD risk and development of CVD.

Open access

W N H Koek, N Campos-Obando, B C J van der Eerden, Y B de Rijke, M A Ikram, A G Uitterlinden, J P T M van Leeuwen, and M C Zillikens


Sex differences in calcium and phosphate have been observed. We aimed to assess a relation with age.


We used the laboratory values of serum calcium, phosphate and albumin from three different samples ( 2005, 2010 and 2014 years) using the hospital information system of Erasmus MC, Rotterdam. The samples were divided into three age groups: 1–17, 18–44 and ≥45 years. Sex differences in calcium and phosphate were analyzed using ANCOVA, adjusting for age and serum albumin. Furthermore, sex by age interactions were determined and we analyzed differences between age groups stratified by sex.


In all three samples there was a significant sex × age interaction for serum calcium and phosphate, whose levels were significantly higher in women compared to men above 45 years. No sex differences in the younger age groups were found. In men, serum calcium and phosphate levels were highest in the youngest age group compared to age groups of 18–44 and ≥45 years. In women, serum calcium levels were significantly higher in the age group 1–17 and the age group ≥45 years compared to the 18–44 years age group. In women, serum phosphate was different between the three different age groups with highest level in the group 1–17 years and lowest in the group 18–44 years.


There are age- dependent sex differences in serum calcium and phosphate. Furthermore, we found differences in serum calcium and phosphate between different age groups. Underlying mechanisms for these age- and sex- differences are not yet fully elucidated.