Aims: Detection of early-stage atherosclerosis in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients is important for preventing cardiovascular disease. A phased tracking method for evaluating arterial wall elasticity sensitively detects early-stage atherosclerosis. However, biochemical markers for early-stage atherosclerosis have yet to be established. Methods: This cross-sectional study enrolled 180 T2DM patients, who were classified as not having atherosclerosis according to the carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) criteria. We measured serum cystatin C, the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR), and analyzed the associations between these markers and arterial wall elasticity (Eθ), IMT and the cardio-ankle velocity index. Results: Multiple linear regression analyses revealed that cystatin C was significantly associated with Eθ, while neither eGFR nor ACR showed an association. Furthermore, among the examined atherosclerotic markers, Eθ was most reliably associated with cystatin C. Additionally, the association between cystatin C and Eθ disappeared in the low elasticity subgroup, which included subjects in whom no atherosclerotic changes had yet been initiated. Conclusions: In T2DM patients without apparent arterial wall thickening, cystatin C is strongly and independently associated with arterial wall elasticity, which reflects the degree of subclinical atherosclerosis. Thus, cystatin C is a potentially useful marker of early-stage atherosclerosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism