Increased activin A levels in prediabetes and association with carotid intima-media thickness: A cross-sectional analysis from I-Lan Longitudinal Aging Study

Chin Sung Kuo, Ya Wen Lu, Chien Yi Hsu, Chun Chin Chang, Ruey Hsing Chou, Li Kuo Liu, Liang Kung Chen, Po Hsun Huang, Jaw Wen Chen, Shing Jong Lin

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Activin A and its binding protein follistatin may be crucial in glucose homeostasis, as multifunctional proteins mediating inflammatory and anti-inflammatory effects. However, clinical data on the activin A level in prediabetes, and the association between the circulating activin A level and carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), are lacking. We aimed to investigate activin A and follistatin levels and their associations with cIMT. In total, 470 inhabitants of I-Lan county (235 men; mean age 69 ± 9 years) with measurements of serum activin A and follistatin levels were included. Patients with prediabetes and diabetes had significantly increased activin A concentrations compared with those in the normal glycemic group (both p < 0.001). A multivariable logistic regression model demonstrated that the circulating activin A level was associated with prediabetes and diabetes independently of other risk factors. Moreover, the circulating activin A levels were associated positively with cIMT in prediabetes (r s = 0.264, p = 0.001). In conclusion, activin A level, but not follistatin, was elevated independent of demographic variables with borderline significance and was correlated positively with cIMT in prediabetes. Activin A and follistatin levels were elevated in diabetes. In addition, elevated activin A was an independent risk factor for prediabetes and diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9957
Pages (from-to)9957
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018


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