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Chin Med J (Engl). 2013;126(11):2109-15.

Serum galectin-3: a risk factor for vascular complications in type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Geriatric Medicine, Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.



Plasma galectin-3, a mediator of fibrogenesis and inflammation, its potential to associate with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is poorly investigated. Here, we explored its interaction with the serum galectin-3 and vascular complications.


We conducted a population-based cross-sectional survey in Zhejiang, China involving 165 men and 119 women (age range, 43 - 84 years), investigating the relationship between serum galectin-3 and vascular disease in patients with T2DM.


Serum galectin-3 was higher in subjects with T2DM than that in control participants (27.4 vs. 17.6 ng/ml, P < 0.001). Compared with subjects with galectin-3 values in the lowest quartile, those with values in the highest quartile had an increased likelihood of vascular complications (4th quartile odds ratio (OR) 2.52, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.25 - 4.07). Increased risk of micro- or macrovascular complications correlated with serum galectin-3 concentration (ORs 11.4 and 8.5, respectively). An increased number of vascular complications was associated with high serum galectin-3 levels (P < 0.05). Patients with serum galectin-3 levels > 25 ng/ml had an elevated risk of diabetes relative to patients with levels < 10 ng/ml (OR for any vascular complication 2.64, for heart failure 3.97, for nephropathy 4.09, for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) 4.18; all P < 0.05). Complication risk was higher in patients with neurogenic, stroke, or retinopathy complications, but this difference was not significant after risk factor adjustment. Serum galectin-3 levels correlated with diabetes duration, C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, and albuminuria.


High galectin-3 values were associated with increased odds of developing heart failure, nephropathy, and peripheral arterial disease in patients with T2DM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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