C-peptide: A predictor of cardiovascular mortality in subjects with established atherosclerotic disease

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Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are independent risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Levels of C-peptide are increased in these patients and its role in the atherosclerosis progression was studied in vitro and in vivo over the past years. To evaluate the possible use of C-peptide as cardiovascular biomarkers, we designed an observational study in which we enrolled patients with mono- or poly-vascular atherosclerotic disease.


We recruited 431 patients with stable atherosclerosis and performed a yearly follow-up to estimate the cardiovascular and total mortality and cardiovascular events.


We performed a mean follow-up of 56 months on 268 patients. A multivariate Cox analysis showed that C-peptide significantly increased the risk of cardiovascular mortality [Hazard Ratio: 1.29 (95% confidence interval: 1.02−1.65, p < 0.03513)] after adjustment for age, sex, diabetes treatment, estimated glomerular filtration rate and known diabetes status. Furthermore, levels of C-peptide were significantly correlated with metabolic parameters and atherogenic factors.


C-peptide was associated with cardiovascular mortality independently of known diabetes status in a cohort of patients with chronic atherosclerotic disease. Future studies using C-peptide into a reclassification approach might be undertaken to consider its potential as a cardiovascular disease biomarker.

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