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Disease Markers
Volume 23 (2007), Issue 3, Pages 173-178

Low Plasma Levels of FGF-2 and PDGF-BB Are Associated with Cardiovascular Events in Type II Diabetes Mellitus (Diabetes Heart Study)

Joseph Yeboah, David C. Sane, John R. Crouse, David M. Herrington, and Donald W. Bowden

Departments of Internal Medicine/Cardiology and Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC, USA

Received 13 April 2007; Accepted 13 April 2007

Copyright © 2007 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective: We tested associations of the growth factors VEGF, FGF-2, HGF and PDGF-BB with coronary artery calcium scores and cardiovascular events (CVD) in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

Methods: A cross-sectional study selected 40 frequency matched (by age, gender and race) subjects with T2DM from the first (0–111) and the third (> 1400) coronary artery calcium (CAC) score tertiles in the Diabetes Heart Study (DHS), in which 36 were with and 41 were without history of CVD events. Plasma levels of VEGF, FGF-2, HGF and PDGF-BB were measured in all subjects.

Results: None of the growth factors was significantly different between the first and third CAC score tertiles. Mean plasma FGF-2 and PDGF-BB levels were significantly higher in the group without prior CVD events compared with the group with prior CVD events [mean(95%CI): 219.20 (194.42–247.15) vs. 152.93 (135.64–172.43) pg/ml, p = 0.03] and [mean(95%CI): 106.70 (89.12–127.74) vs. 61.56 (50.91–74.44) pg/ml, p = 0.03], respectively. Subgroup analysis in the first CAC tertile showed a significantly higher PDGF-BB levels in those without compared with those with CVD events [mean (95%CI): 208.36 (190.57–228.15) vs. 102.93 (80.64–125.21) pg/ml, p = 0.004].

Conclusion: Plasma growth factor levels were not significantly different between the extremes of CAC scores in T2DM. However, low plasma levels of PDGF-BB and FGF-2 are associated with prior cardiovascular events in T2DM. Studies are needed to confirm our results and also to establish temporality of this association.