Association of growth and differentiation factor-15 with coronary artery calcium score and ankle-brachial index in a middle-aged and elderly Caucasian population sample free of manifest cardiovascular disease

Loretta Zsuzsa Kiss*, Balázs Bence Nyárády, Éva Pállinger, Árpád Lux, Ádám Levente Jermendy, Csaba Csobay-Novák, Pál Soós, Zsolt Szelid, Orsolya Láng, László Kohidai, Elek Dinya, Edit Dósa, Béla Merkely, Zsolt Bagyura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Growth and differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15) is a stress-associated cytokine of the transforming growth factor-ß superfamily. The inflammatory and angiogenic effects of GDF-15 in atherosclerosis are controversial, and its correlation with the long asymptomatic phase of the disease is not well understood. Coronary artery calcium score (CACS) and ankle-brachial index (ABI) are sensitive markers of subclinical atherosclerosis. To date, only a few studies have examined the impact of GDF-15 on coronary artery calcification, and the association between GDF-15 and ABI has not been evaluated. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the possible relationship between serum GDF-15 concentrations and CACS and ABI in a Caucasian population sample of middle-aged (35–65 years) and elderly (> 65 years) people. In addition to recording demographic and anthropometric characteristics, atherosclerotic risk factors, and laboratory tests including serum HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP); GDF-15 level, cardiac computed tomography, and ABI measurements were also performed. A total of 269 asymptomatic individuals (men, n = 125; median age, 61.5 [IQR, 12.7] years) formed the basis of this study. Participants were divided into two groups according to their age (middle-aged, n = 175 and elderly, n = 94). Hypertension and diabetes mellitus were significantly more prevalent and CACS values and HbA1c, NT-proBNP, and GDF-15 levels were significantly higher (all p < 0.001) in the elderly group compared to the middle-aged group. Multivariate ridge regression analysis revealed a significant positive association between GDF-15 and CACS (middle-aged group: ß = 0.072, p = 0.333; elderly group: ß = 0.148, p = 0.003), and between GDF-15 and ABI (middle-aged group: ß = 0.062, p = 0.393; elderly group: ß = 0.088, p = 0.041) only in the elderly group. Our results show that GDF-15 is not only a useful biomarker of inflammation but can also predict early signs of asymptomatic atherosclerosis, especially in elderly people with chronic systemic inflammation associated with aging (inflammaging).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1343-1350
Number of pages8
JournalGeroscience
Volume46
Issue number1
Early online date7 Aug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Ankle-brachial index
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular risk factors
  • Coronary artery calcium score
  • Growth and differentiation factor-15
  • Inflammaging

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