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Am Heart J. 2007 Jan;153(1):67-73.

Asymmetric dimethylarginine, cortisol/cortisone ratio, and C-peptide: markers for diabetes and cardiovascular risk?

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Cardiovascular Department, LDS Hospital, Salt Lake City, UT 84143, USA.



Diabetes and prediabetic conditions are growing cardiovascular risk factors. Better understanding and earlier recognition and treatment of dysglycemia-related risk are health priorities. We assessed the predictive value of 3 proposed new markers for diabetes and cardiovascular risk. We tested whether the plasma levels of (1) asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), (2) cortisol/cortisone (Cl/Cn) ratio, and (3) C-peptide predicted glycemic status, coronary artery disease, and death or myocardial infarction (MI) in a nested case-control cohort (N = 850) with normal fasting glucose (< 110 mg/dL), impaired fasting glucose (110-125), or diabetic (> or = 126) status.


High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) served as a control risk marker. Follow-up averaged 2.6 +/- 1.4 years. High-pressure liquid chromatography with pre-column derivitization and fluorescence was used to assay ADMA, liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry for Cl and Cn, and chemiluminescent immunoassay for C-peptide.


Asymmetric dimethylarginine levels were positively associated with glycemic category (P < .001). Quartiles 2 to 4 ADMA also conferred increased risk of death/MI independent of hsCRP and other risk factors (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.1; P = .002). Cortisol/Cortisone ratios (P = .013) and C-peptide (P = .047) were associated with glycemic categories but less strongly than ADMA. Quartiles 2 to 4 Cl/Cn were protective against incident death/MI (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.48; P < .001), whereas C-peptide did not predict outcomes.


Among a high coronary risk case-control cohort, ADMA (strongly), Cl/Cn (moderately), and C-peptide (weakly) predicted glycemic categories. Asymmetric dimethylarginine and Cl/Cn also predicted clinical outcome independent of and more strongly than hsCRP. Asymmetric dimethylarginine and Cl/Cn represent promising new candidate markers of dysglycemia and associated cardiovascular risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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