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General Health Channel
Reported October 10, 2012

Hormone Level Linked To Various Diseases

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – What do diabetes, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and death all have in common? Researchers say it’s plasma levels of proneutrotensin, a precursor of the hormone neurotensin.

Neurotensin is an amino acid peptide primarily expressed in the central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract. It regulates both satiety and breast cancer growth in the experimental setting, but little is known about its role in the development of breast cancer or cardiometabolic disease in humans.

Olle Melander, M.D., Ph.D., of Lund University, Malmo, Sweden and colleagues conducted a study to test if a fasting plasma concentration of proneurotensin is associated with future risk of diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and death. Proneurotensin was measured in plasma from 4,632 fasting participants of the population-based Malmo Diet and Cancer Study baseline examination 1991-1994. Various models were used to evaluate the relationship between baseline proneurotensin and first events and death during long-term follow-up until January 2009, with median (midpoint) follow-up ranging from 13.2 to 15.7 years depending on the disease.

Proneurotensin was related to risk of new diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cardiovascular mortality, with a significant interaction between proneurotensin and sex on risk of cardiovascular disease. The authors were quoted as saying, "Exclusively in women, proneurotensin was related to incident diabetes, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, total mortality, and cardiovascular mortality. As an observational study, our results do not prove any causation between proneurotensin and cardiometabolic disease and breast cancer."

The researchers note that the elevation of proneurotensin several years before the onset of a disease indicates that proneurotensin may be a marker of underlying disease susceptibility rather than an expression of subclinical disease. The authors admit that the relationships between proneurotensin and all end points were significant in women but not in men. Further research needs to be conducted to find out whether the association between proneurotensin and adverse outcomes are specific to women.

Source: JAMA , October 2012
 

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