Systemic inflammation plays a pivotal role in the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Here we hypothesized that circulating levels of calprotectin, a myeloid cell-derived biomarker of inflammation, is associated with the development of new-onset T2D in the general population.

A total of 4,815 initially non-diabetic participants of the Prevention of Renal and Vascular ENd-stage Disease (PREVEND), a prospective population-based cohort study, were assessed for plasma levels of calprotectin at baseline. Circulating levels of calprotectin were investigated for potential associations with the risk of new-onset T2D, defined as a fasting plasma glucose level ≥7.0 mmol/l, a random plasma glucose level ≥11.1 mmol/l, a self-reported physician-based diagnosis of T2D, the use of glucose-lowering drugs, or any combinations thereof.

Median plasma calprotectin levels were 0.49 [0.35-0.69] mg/l. Plasma calprotectin levels were significantly associated with the risk of new-onset T2D (hazard ratio [HR] per doubling 1.42 [95% confidence interval: 1.22-1.66], P<0.001). The association remained independent of adjustment for age and sex (HR 1.34 [95%CI: 1.14-1.57], P<0.001), but not after further adjustment for potentially confounding factors (HR 1.11 [95% CI: 0.90-1.37], P=0.326), with adjustment for hyperlipidemia and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein explaining the loss of significance. Stratified analyses showed significant effect modification by hypertension, history of cardiovascular disease and HOMA-IR (Pinteraction≤0.001 for each), with higher HRs in individuals without hypertension, without history of cardiovascular disease and with below-median HOMA-IR.

Elevated plasma levels of calprotectin are associated with a higher risk of developing T2D in the general population and may represent a moveable inflammatory biomarker. This association, however, does not represent a direct effect, and seems dependent on hyperlipidemia and systemic inflammation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4-Mar-2024


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