Fetuin-A Levels Are Increased in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes and Peripheral Arterial Disease

  1. Gerit-Holger Schernthaner, MD1
  1. 1Department of Medicine II, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria;
  2. 2Department of Medicine I, Rudolfstiftung Hospital, Vienna, Austria.
  1. Corresponding author: Gerit-Holger Schernthaner, gerit.schernthaner{at}meduniwien.ac.at.


OBJECTIVE Low levels of fetuin-A, a systemic calcification inhibitor, are linked to mortality in patients on dialysis. In contrast, elevated fetuin-A is associated with cardiovascular events in non-renal patients. We investigated fetuin-A in patients with type 2 diabetes and peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We studied fetuin-A in 76 patients with PAD and normal glucose metabolism (NGM-PAD) and in 129 patients with PAD and type 2 diabetes (type 2 diabetes–PAD). Additionally, 40 patients with diabetes without any complications (type 2 diabetes–non-PAD) were examined.

RESULTS Type 2 diabetes–PAD subjects (399 ± 155 μg/ml) had significantly higher fetuin-A levels than type 2 diabetes–non-PAD subjects (247 ± 42; P < 0.001). In NGM-PAD subjects (376 ± 144), fetuin-A was significantly higher than in type 2 diabetes–non-PAD subjects (P < 0.001). Type 2 diabetes–PAD patients with mediasclerosis had lower fetuin-A than subjects without (P < 0.03). Regression analysis in type 2 diabetes–PAD subjects revealed that glycated A1C (P < 0.001) and mediasclerosis (P = 0.004) were the strongest predictors of fetuin-A. Multivariate regression revealed that a 1-SD increase in fetuin-A was associated with an odds ratio (OR) of 2.1 (95% CI 1.1–3.3; P < 0.001) for the prevalence of PAD and an OR of 1.4 (1.0–1.7, P = 0.039) for the prevalence of myocardial infarction.

CONCLUSIONS In contrast to previous findings, fetuin-A was higher in type 2 diabetes–PAD patients than in type 2 diabetes–non-PAD patients. In NGM-PAD patients, fetuin-A was also higher than in type 2 diabetes–non-PAD patients. In type 2 diabetes–PAD patients, fetuin-A was inversely associated with mediasclerosis—the calcification process pathognomonic for diabetic PAD. This association persisted in multivariate regression, which is in line with the calcification inhibition in coronary heart or renal disease.


  • The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. This article must therefore be hereby marked “advertisement” in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.

  • Received April 30, 2010.
  • Accepted September 29, 2010.

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ for details.

| Table of Contents

This Article

  1. Diabetes Care vol. 34 no. 1 156-161
  1. All Versions of this Article:
    1. dc10-0788v1
    2. 34/1/156 most recent