Background: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are a leading cause of death worldwide including the Middle East. This is caused in part by the dysregulation of adipose tissue leading to increased production of pro-inflammatory adipokines and reduction in cardio-protective adipokines such as adiponectin. Ethnicity has been recognized as a major factor in the association between CVD risk factors and the different circulating adipokines. In this study, for the first time, the relationship between traditional cardiovascular risk factors, Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) and circulating level of adipokines in Arab ethnicity was investigated.
Methods: We conducted a population-based cross-sectional survey on 379 adult Arab participants living in Kuwait. Traditional cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure (BP), low density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglyceride (TG) were measured. Plasma levels of circulating Leptin, Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor (PAI-1) visfatin, adiponectin, resistin and adipsin were assessed using the multiplexing immunobead-based assay.
Results: Circulating levels of High sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP), Leptin, PAI-1 and adiponectin were significantly higher in Arab women than men (p < 0.0001). In multi-variate analysis, the homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and body mass index (BMI) showed strong association with most of the biomarkers (p < 0.05). HsCRP showed significant association with all risk factors (p < 0.05). Leptin, PAI-1 and adipsin showed significant positive correlation with BMI, unlike adiponectin which showed inverse correlation (p < 0.05). Subjects in the highest tertile of leptin, PAI-1 and hsCRP had higher odds of having Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) (odd ratio [OR] = 3.02, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.47-6.19) and (OR = 2.52, 95% CI = 1.45-4.35), (OR = 4.26, 95% CI = 2.39-7.59) respectively. On the other hand subjects with highest tertile of adiponectin had lower odds of having MetS (OR = 0.22, 95% CI = 0.12-0.40). Leptin, PAI-1 and hsCRP showed significant positive association with increased MetS components (P-trend <0.05), while adiponectin was negatively associated with increased MetS components (P-trend <0.0001).
Conclusion: Our results show positive association between hsCRP, leptin, PAI-1 with increased MetS components and increase the odds of having MetS. Adiponectin on the other hand showed inverse correlation with MetS components and associated with reduction in MetS. Overall, our data highlights the significant clinical value these markers have in MetS especially hsCRP which can be used as good marker of low grade inflammation in Arabs.