Plasma zinc α2-glycoprotein levels are elevated in smokers and correlated with metabolic syndrome

Eur J Clin Invest. 2015 May;45(5):452-9. doi: 10.1111/eci.12425. Epub 2015 Mar 9.


Background: Smoking is a strong risk factor of metabolic syndrome. Zinc α2-glycoprotein (ZAG) is a protein involved in metabolic syndrome. This study aims to investigate the effect of smoking on plasma ZAG levels and its relations to metabolic syndrome.

Materials and methods: A group of 41 cigarette smokers and 47 non-smokers were enrolled. ZAG levels were measured to correlate to participants' demographic and metabolic parameters.

Results: Plasma ZAG levels of smokers were higher than those of controls (P < 0.0001). Plasma ZAG levels were positively correlated with male gender (P = 0.0002), number of cigarettes smoked per day (P < 0.0001), smoking duration in years (P < 0.0001), smoking index (P < 0.0001) and nicotine dependence score (P < 0.0001). In the multiple regression analysis, smoking was a strong independent factor affecting plasma ZAG levels (P = 0.0034). Plasma ZAG levels elevated progressively with the number of metabolic syndrome components (P = 0.0143). In the multiple regression analysis, plasma ZAG was an independent factor for metabolic syndrome.

Conclusions: Plasma ZAG levels are high in smokers and correlate with metabolic syndrome. Our results indicate ZAG is an independent risk factor, but also interacted with smoking, for the metabolic syndrome.

Keywords: metabolic syndrome; smoking; zinc α2-glycoprotein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carrier Proteins / blood*
  • Dyslipidemias / blood
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins / blood*
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / blood
  • Hypertension / blood
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / blood
  • Overweight / blood
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / blood*
  • Time Factors
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • AZGP1 protein, human
  • Adipokines
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Glycoproteins