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Biol Sex Differ. 2019 Nov 21;10(1):51. doi: 10.1186/s13293-019-0268-0.

Female sex, high soluble CD163, and low HDL-cholesterol were associated with high galectin-3 binding protein in type 1 diabetes.

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Diabetes Research Laboratory, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
Department of Research and Development, Region Kronoberg, Box 1223, SE-351 12, Växjö, Sweden.
Diabetes Research Laboratory, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.



Galectin-3 binding protein (Gal3BP), sCD163, galectin-3, and depression have been linked to cardiovascular disease and mortality. In patients with type 1 diabetes, female sex has also been linked to cardiovascular disease and mortality. The aim was to explore whether female sex, sCD163, galectin-3, and depression were associated with Gal3BP in patients with type 1 diabetes. We adjusted for metabolic variables, creatinine, smoking, physical inactivity, and cardiovascular disease.


Cross-sectional design. Patients with type 1 diabetes (n = 285, women 44%, age18-59 years, diabetes duration 1-55 years) were consecutively recruited from one diabetes outpatient clinic. Blood samples, anthropometrics, and blood pressure were collected, supplemented with data from electronic medical records. High Gal3BP was defined as ≥3.3 mg/l (≥80th percentile). Depression was assessed by a self-report instrument. Linear and logistic regression models were elaborated for the associations and calibrated and validated for goodness of fit with the data variables.


Median (q1, q3) Gal3BP was 2.3 (1.8, 3.1) mg/l. The prevalence of high Gal3BP for women was 30% and 14% for men (p = 0.001). Female sex (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 3.0), sCD163 (per μg/l) (AOR 6.6), and total cholesterol (per mmol/l) (AOR 1.6) were positively associated with high Gal3BP, and HDL-cholesterol (per mmol/l) (AOR 0.2) was negatively associated with high Gal3BP.


High Gal3BP levels were associated with female sex, increasing sCD163 and total cholesterol levels, and decreasing HDL-cholesterol levels in patients with type 1 diabetes. The prevalence of high Gal3BP was more than twice as high in the women as in the men.


Biomarkers; Depression; Galectin-3; Galectin-3 binding protein; HDL-cholesterol; Inflammation; Sex differences; Type 1 diabetes; sCD163

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