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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2012 Sep;32(9):2327-35. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.112.248609. Epub 2012 Jun 7.

Circulating adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein levels and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in patients with coronary heart disease: a 10-year prospective study.

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Department of Nephrology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universit√§t M√ľnchen, Munich, Germany.



Adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein (A-FABP) abundantly expressed in mature adipocytes and activated macrophages has dramatic effects on atherosclerosis in mice. Whether this pathophysiological role of A-FABP may also apply to atherosclerotic disease in humans is still unknown. This study investigated associations among serum A-FABP levels, cardiovascular risk factors, and long-term secondary cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcome in patients with coronary heart disease.


Serum A-FABP levels were measured in 1069 patients with prevalent coronary heart disease and a 10-year prospective follow-up was conducted (median, 119.5 [interquartile range, 74.1-120.6] months). During this period 204 patients (incidence, 24.0/1000 patient-years) experienced a secondary cardiovascular disease event (defined as cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal cerebrovascular stroke). At baseline, circulating A-FABP was positively associated with a cluster of metabolic and inflammatory risk factors and independently predicted the presence of the metabolic syndrome (odds ratio per unit increase of natural log-transformed A-FABP, 2.95; 95% CI, 2.22-3.92, P<0.001). On long-term follow-up, subjects with high baseline A-FABP showed an increased risk for secondary cardiovascular disease events (hazard ratio per unit increase, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.18-1.95; P=0.001), which was attenuated after multivariable adjustment (hazard ratio 1.30; 95% CI, 0.98-1.73). In contrast, A-FABP remained significantly associated with cardiovascular death even after multivariable adjustment (hazard ratio, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.17-2.62, P=0.007).


Circulating A-FABP levels are associated with long-term prognosis in patients with coronary heart disease and may represent an important pathophysiological mediator of atherosclerosis, which may point to a new target of treatment options.

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