Serum Galectin-3 and Subsequent Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Subjects With Childhood-Onset Type 1 Diabetes: A Cohort Study

Diabetes Care. 2021 Mar;44(3):810-816. doi: 10.2337/dc20-1712. Epub 2021 Jan 6.


Objective: To study whether serum galectin-3 and other biomarkers of inflammation predict coronary heart disease (CHD) in subjects with long-standing childhood-onset type 1 diabetes.

Research design and methods: A population-based nationwide cohort of 299 subjects with type 1 diabetes diagnosed in Norway at <15 years of age during 1973-1982 was examined in 2002-2003 at a mean age of 33 years (range 21-44), with mean diabetes duration of 24 years (range 19-30). Subjects were followed through 31 December 2017 for their first CHD event registered by a hospitalization or cause of death using nationwide registries. Stored serum samples were available for 296 subjects and analyzed for interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-6 receptor, IL-18, hs-CRP, matrix metalloproteinase-9, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1), galectin-3, and high-sensitivity troponin T. Adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) for CHD per SD increase in biomarker were estimated using Cox regression.

Results: Of 295 subjects, 40 (13.6%) had a documented CHD event during a mean follow-up of 14.4 years (range 0.5-16). IL-6 (aHR 1.32 [95% CI 1.07-1.63]), galectin-3 (aHR 1.44 [95% CI 1.09-1.80]), and TIMP-1 (aHR 1.37 [95% CI 1.04-1.81]) were significant predictors of CHD after adjustment for conventional risk factors.

Conclusions: Galectin-3 was significantly associated with future CHD in subjects with type 1 diabetes, and if the results are replicated in larger studies, it may aid in prediction together with conventional risk factors for CHD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Coronary Disease* / epidemiology
  • Coronary Disease* / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / epidemiology
  • Galectin 3
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1
  • Young Adult


  • Galectin 3
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1

Associated data

  • figshare/10.2337/figshare.13348088