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Eur J Endocrinol. 2011 Dec;165(6):891-8. doi: 10.1530/EJE-11-0584. Epub 2011 Oct 5.

Increased IGF1 levels in relation to heart failure and cardiovascular mortality in an elderly population: impact of ACE inhibitors.

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Department of Acute Healthcare, County Council of Östergötland, Linköping, Sweden.



There are conflicting results regarding the association of circulating IGF1 with cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and mortality. We assessed the relationship between IGF1 levels and heart failure (HF), ischemic heart disease (IHD), and CV mortality in an elderly population taking into account the possible impact of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.


A total of 851 persons aged 66-81 years, in a rural Swedish municipality, were subjected to medical history, clinical examination, electrocardiography, echocardiography, and fasting plasma samples. They were then followed for 8 years.


Patients on ACE inhibitors had higher IGF1 levels compared with those without ACE inhibitors. In patients on ACE inhibitors, higher IGF1 values were found in patients with an ejection fraction (EF) <40% compared with EF ≥40%, in patients with higher proBNP levels in quartile 4 vs 1, and in patients with IHD when compared to those without ACE inhibitors (P<0.001). In patients without ACE inhibitors, no relationship was found between IGF1 levels and HF or IHD. In multivariate regression, only ACE inhibitors, ECG changes characteristic for IHD, and gender had a significant impact on IGF1. Patients with higher IGF1 levels in quintiles 4 and 5 compared to quintiles 1 and 2 had a 50% higher risk for CV death (P=0.03). This was significant after adjustment for well-known CV risk factors and ACE inhibitors (P=0.03).


Our results show that treatment with ACE inhibitors in an elderly population is associated with increased IGF1 levels, especially in patients with impaired cardiac function or IHD. High IGF1 levels tend to be associated with an increased risk for CV mortality.

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