The coincidence of low vitamin K status and high expression of growth differentiation factor 15 may indicate increased mortality risk in stable coronary heart disease patients

O. Mayer*, J. Bruthans, J. Seidlerova, P. Karnosova, M. Materakova, J. Gelzinsky, M. Rychecka, J. Opatrny, P. Wohlfahrt, R. Kucera, L. Trefil, R. Cifkova, J. FilipovskY, C. Vermeer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background and aims: Matrix Gla protein (MGP) is a natural inhibitor of vascular calcification critically dependent on circulating vitamin K status. Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) is a regulatory cytokine mainly of the inflammatory and angiogenesis pathways, but potentially also involved in bone mineralization. We sought to determine whether these two circulating biomarkers jointly influenced morbidity and mortality risk in patients with chronic coronary heart disease (CHD).Methods and results: 894 patients >= 6 months after myocardial infarction and/or coronary revascularization at baseline were followed in a prospective study. All-cause and cardiovascular mortality, non-fatal cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction, stroke, any revascularization), and hospitalization for heart failure (HF) were followed as outcomes. Desphospho-uncarboxylated MGP (dp-ucMGP) was used as a biomarker of vitamin K status.Both, increased concentrations of dp-ucMGP (>= 884 pmol/L) and GDF-15 (>= 1339 pg/mL) were identified as independent predictors of 5-year all-cause or cardiovascular mortality. However, their coincidence further increased mortality risk. The highest risk was observed in patients with high dp-ucMGP plus high GDF-15, not only when compared with those with "normal" concentrations of both biomarkers [HR 5.51 (95% CI 2.91-10.44), p < 0.0001 and 6.79 (95% CI 3.06 -15.08), p < 0.0001 for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, respectively], but even when compared with patients with only one factor increased. This pattern was less convincing with non-fatal cardiovascular events or hospitalization for HF.Conclusions: The individual coincidence of low vitamin K status (high dp-ucMGP) and high GDF15 expression predicts poor survival of stable CHD patients. (C) 2020 The Italian Diabetes Society, the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis, the Italian Society of Human Nutrition and the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-551
Number of pages12
JournalNutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2021


  • All-cause death
  • Cardiovascular death
  • Heart failure
  • Matrix gamma-carboxyglutamate protein (MGP)
  • Non-fatal cardiovascular events
  • all-cause death
  • cardiovascular death
  • dp-ucMGP
  • dp-ucmgp
  • euroaspire
  • heart failure
  • matrix gamma-carboxyglutamate protein (mgp)
  • non-fatal cardiovascular events
  • GDF-15


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