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Diabetes Metab J. 2018 Dec;42(6):513-518. English. Original Article.
Kim HJ , Byun DW , Suh K , Yoo MH , Park HK .
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Recent studies have correlated serum cystatin C (CysC) with vascular complications, but few studies have investigated this correlation in diabetes patients without nephropathy. This study aimed to evaluate if higher serum CysC levels increase the risk for vascular complications in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients with normal renal function or mild renal impairment.


A total of 806 consecutive patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who were admitted to the diabetes center of Soonchunhyang University Hospital for blood glucose control were retrospectively reviewed. Patients with nephropathy were excluded. Subjects were categorized into quartiles of serum CysC levels (Q1, ≤0.65 mg/L; Q2, 0.66 to 0.79 mg/L; Q3, 0.80 to 0.94 mg/L; and Q4, ≥0.95 mg/L).


The proportion of patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR) (P for trend < 0.001), coronary heart disease (CHD) (P for trend < 0.001), and stroke (P for trend < 0.001) increased across the serum CysC quartiles. After adjustment for confounding factors, the highest serum CysC level remained a significant risk factor for DR (odds ratio [OR], 1.929; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.007 to 4.144; P=0.040). Compared with Q1, a significant positive association was observed between serum CysC and CHD in Q2 (OR, 7.321; 95% CI, 1.114 to 48.114; P=0.012), Q3 (OR, 6.027; 95% CI, 0.952 to 38.161; P=0.020), and Q4 (OR, 8.122; 95% CI, 1.258 to 52.453; P=0.007). No associations were observed between CysC and stroke after additional adjustment for confounding variables.


Serum CysC levels are independently associated with DR and CHD, suggesting that CysC may be useful for identifying type 2 diabetes mellitus patients without nephropathy who are at high risk for vascular complications.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.