Low fetuin-A levels are associated with cardiovascular death: Impact of variations in the gene encoding fetuin

Peter Stenvinkel, Kai Wang, Abdul Rashid Qureshi, Jonas Axelsson, Roberto Pecoits-Filho, Ping Gao, Peter Barany, Bengt Lindholm, Tomas Jogestrand, Olof Heimbürger, Clifford Holmes, Martin Schalling, Louise Nordfors
Kidney International 2005, 67 (6): 2383-92

BACKGROUND: Vascular calcification is common among end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients and a central characteristic of the atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease observed in dialysis patients. Fetuin-A, a circulating calcium-regulatory glycoprotein that inhibits vascular calcification, is associated with inflammation and outcome in dialysis patients. In the present study, we evaluated the association between fetuin-A, clinical phenotype, and outcome, as well as the impact of fetuin gene (AHSG) polymorphisms on the protein product and outcome.

METHODS: In a cohort of 258 (161 males) ESRD patients starting renal replacement therapy [glomerular filtration rate (GFR) 6.8 +/- 0.2 mL/min] aged 52 +/- 1 years the following parameters were studied: presence of malnutrition (subjective global assessment), comorbidity [diabetes mellitus and clinical manifest cardiovascular disease (CVD)], carotid plaques (N= 101), hs-CRP, fetuin-A, S-albumin, interleukin (IL)-6, and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the AHSG gene (N= 215) at amino acid positions Thr248Met (C-->T), Thr256Ser (C-->G), Asp276Asn (G-->A), and Arg317Cys (C-->T).

RESULTS: Both all-cause (P < 0.001) and cardiovascular (P < 0.001) mortality were associated with low fetuin-A levels independently of age, smoking, diabetes, S-albumin, CVD, and inflammation (CRP > or =10 mg/L). Inflamed (0.199 vs. 0.247 g/L; P < 0.01) and malnourished (0.207 vs. 0.262 g/L; P < 0.05) patients had significantly lower median fetuin-A than noninflamed and well-nourished ESRD patients, respectively. In a logistic regression model (N= 101), fetuin-A was significantly (P < 0.05) associated with the presence of carotid plaques independently of age, CVD, diabetes, S-albumin, gender, and inflammation. Significant correlations were observed between fetuin-A and both S-albumin (Rho = 0.30; P < 0.0001) and IL-6 (Rho =-0.21; P < 0.01). Patients with the AHSG 256Ser allele had lower serum fetuin-A levels, and higher all-cause and cardiovascular mortality rate if they were inflamed.

CONCLUSION: The present study shows that a low fetuin-A level is associated with malnutrition, inflammation, and atherosclerosis (carotid plaques), as well as with increased cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Because the present study demonstrates an effect of variations in the AHSG gene on both circulating fetuin-A levels and outcome, this indicates that ESRD patients with the AHSG 256Ser allele are at risk of accelerated vascular calcification.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"