Skin accumulation of advanced glycation end products is increased in patients with an abdominal aortic aneurysm

J Vasc Surg. 2017 Dec;66(6):1696-1703.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2017.04.037. Epub 2017 Jun 24.


Objective: Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. Accumulation of AGEs is driven by oxidative or glycemic stress and can be assessed by skin autofluorescence (SAF). SAF is increased in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) and independently associated with mortality and major adverse cardiovascular events in these patients. PAD and abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) share several risk factors. Inflammation is an important process in AAA formation and increases levels of oxidative stress. We therefore hypothesized that SAF would be increased in AAA patients compared with controls.

Methods: A case-control study was performed in 248 AAA patients and 124 controls without AAA or PAD matched for age and presence of diabetes mellitus. SAF was noninvasively assessed with the AGE Reader (Diagnoptics Technologies BV, Groningen, The Netherlands).

Results: SAF was higher in AAA patients than in controls: 2.89 ± 0.63 vs 2.68 ± 0.63 arbitrary units (P = .003). PAD comorbidity was associated with increased SAF within the AAA patient group (P = .01). After correction for known factors influencing SAF (age, current smoking, hypertension, and estimated glomerular filtration rate), PAD comorbidity remained an independent determinant of SAF. Logistic regression analysis of the total cohort showed an unadjusted odds ratio (OR) of 1.74 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.20-2.51) for the presence of AAA with each unit increase of SAF and an adjusted OR of 1.78 (95% CI, 1.22-2.60) after correction for cardiovascular comorbidity (cerebrovascular disease and coronary artery disease). After additional correction for sex, current smoking, hypertension, and use of lipid-lowering drugs, this significance was lost (adjusted OR, 1.53; 95% CI, 0.94-2.48).

Conclusions: Skin accumulation of AGEs, measured by SAF, is increased in patients with AAA compared with controls without AAA or PAD, independent of the presence of coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular disease. In AAA patients, SAF is closely associated with the presence of PAD and cardiovascular risk factors.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / epidemiology
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Netherlands
  • Odds Ratio
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / epidemiology
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / metabolism
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin / chemistry*
  • Up-Regulation


  • Biomarkers
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced