Hormone level linked with increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, death

October 9, 2012

Plasma levels of proneurotensin are associated with the development of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular and total mortality, and breast cancer in women during long-term follow-up, according to a study in the October 10 issue of JAMA.

Neurotensin, an amino acid peptide primarily expressed in the central nervous system and , regulates both satiety and breast in the experimental setting, but little is known about its role in the development of or cardiometabolic disease in humans, according to background information in the article. Proneurotensin is a precursor of the hormone neurotensin.

Olle Melander, M.D., Ph.D., of Lund University, Malmo, Sweden and colleagues conducted a study to test if a fasting plasma concentration of proneurotensin is associated with future risk of diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and death. Proneurotensin was measured in plasma from 4,632 fasting participants of the population-based Malmo Diet and Cancer Study baseline examination 1991-1994. Various models were used to evaluate the relationship between baseline proneurotensin and first events and death during long-term follow-up until January 2009, with median (midpoint) follow-up ranging from 13.2 to 15.7 years depending on the disease.

Overall, proneurotensin was related to risk of new diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and , with a significant interaction between proneurotensin and sex on risk of cardiovascular disease. "Exclusively in women, proneurotensin was related to incident diabetes, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, total mortality, and cardiovascular mortality," the authors write.

The researchers note that the elevation of proneurotensin several years before onset of disease indicates that proneurotensin may be a marker of underlying rather than an expression of subclinical disease. "As an observational study, our results do not prove any causation between proneurotensin and cardiometabolic disease and breast cancer."

The authors add that the relationships between proneurotensin and all end points were significant in women but not in men; however, because there was only significant interaction between sex and proneurotensin for the outcome of incident cardiovascular disease, it remains to be shown whether the association between proneurotensin and adverse outcome is specific for women.

Explore further: Following cancer prevention guidelines lowers risk of death from cancer, heart disease, all causes

More information: JAMA. 2012;308[14]:1469-1475.

Related Stories

Heart disease beats breast cancer as the biggest killer

June 19, 2011

Breast cancer accounts for almost a third of all cancer cases reported in women. However advances in the treatment for breast cancer, and early detection, have improved the chances of survival from the disease. New research ...

Recommended for you

Anti-tumor antibodies could counter atherosclerosis, study finds

July 20, 2016

Investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine have learned the signal that tumor cells display on their surfaces to protect themselves from being devoured by the immune system also plays a role in enabling atherosclerosis, ...

A more powerful way to develop therapeutics?

July 21, 2016

A University of Toronto scientist has developed a new method for identifying the raw ingredients necessary to build 'biologics', a powerful class of medications that has revolutionized treatment of diseases like rheumatoid ...

New algorithm characterizes how cancer genomes get scrambled

July 21, 2016

A new method for analyzing the scrambled genomes of cancer cells gives researchers for the first time the ability to simultaneously identify two different types of genetic changes associated with cancers and to identify connections ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.