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Association of galectin-3 with high cardiovascular risk in patients with type 2 diabetes attending a multi-specialty hospital in South India

Damal Kandadai Sriram, Govindaraj Gowri, Sujithera Haridoss, Surendran Venkatesan, Ilayaraja Rajendran, Melvin George.

Background: Diabetes mellitus is a chronic hyperglycemic condition that continues to be associated with high mortality and morbidity. Galectin-3 is a β-galactoside binding lectin and is a potential marker for inflammation, immunity and fibrosis. The aim of the study was to evaluate the relationship between Galectin-3 and baseline characteristics and to find the association between Galectin-3 and high cardiovascular risk in a group of Type-2 diabetes patients.
Methods: A total of 100 patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus were included in the study after obtaining informed consent. The study participants were divided into two groups; those with diabetes for duration of less than 5 years as Group-1 and diabetes greater than 5 years as Group-2. Patients were also divided into three tertiles based on the Inter heart risk score (IHR). Five ml of blood was withdrawn from the ante-cubital vein and the serum obtained was subjected to analysis for estimating concentration of Galectin-3.
Results: There was no significant difference between the Group-1 and Group-2 except gender variation with a significantly higher preponderance of males in Group 2. There was a significant correlation between Galectin-3 and parameters such as systolic blood pressure (r=0.033, p=0.03), creatinine (r=0.20, p=0.03), IHR (r=0.69, p=0.0001). Patients in the high risk category had greater levels of Galectin-3 compared to those with low and intermediate IHR.
Conclusions: Galectin-3 concentration is elevated in diabetes patients and correlates with the IHR-Score. Thus Galectin-3 could be a useful biomarker for prediction of cardiovascular risk in diabetic subjects.

Key words: Cardiovascular risk, Diabetes, Galectin-3, Heart disease, Interheart risk score

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