Growth differentiating factor-15 and its association with traditional cardiovascular risk factors: the African-PREDICT study.
Schutte, Aletta E.
Gafane-Matemane, Lebo F.
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Background and aims Growth differentiating factor-15 (GDF-15) is a stress-induced and cardio-protective cytokine, reported to be influenced by a number of cardiovascular risk factors. In older adults, GDF-15 associated with age, black ethnicity and smoking. It is important to determine if GDF-15 could potentially be used as an early marker of cardiovascular disease, especially in young populations. We investigated whether GDF-15 associated with traditional cardiovascular risk factors (age, sex, ethnicity, blood pressure (BP), socio-economic status, waist-to-hip ratio, cholesterol, physical inactivity, smoking and alcohol use) in young apparently healthy adults. Methods and results We included 1189 black and white participants (aged between 20 and 30 years). Questionnaires were used to collect demographic and physical activity data. We measured serum GDF-15, and performed 24-h ambulatory BP and pulse wave analysis. The following risk factors increased with increasing GDF-15 quartiles: age, black ethnicity, central systolic BP, 24-h diastolic BP, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, lipids, cotinine, smoking and alcohol use (all p trend ≤ 0.013). Socio-economic status and physical activity (p trend ≤ 0.014) were the lowest in the highest quartile. In multi-variable adjusted regression analyses GDF-15 associated with central systolic BP (β = 0.076; p = 0.027), age (β = 0.096; p = 0.006), low socio-economic status (β = −0.12; p = 0.003), physical inactivity (β = −0.18; p < 0.0001), tumour necrosis factor-alpha (β = 0.28; p < 0.0001) and cotinine (β = 0.12; p < 0.0001). Conclusion In young adults, GDF-15 associated independently with multiple traditional cardiovascular risk factors including higher central systolic blood pressure, older age, lower socio-economic status, physical inactivity, inflammation and smoking. These results suggest that GDF-15 is a promising biomarker for early identification of cardiovascular risk
- Faculty of Health Sciences