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Associations of Fibroblast Growth Factor 23 and Fetuin-A With Coronary Plaque Burden and Plaque Composition in Young Adults


Objective The total burden of subclinical coronary artery disease (CAD) is significant among young adults. Serum fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23) and fetuin-A are established predictors of morbidity and mortality because of cardiovascular disease. The objective of the study was to evaluate the relationship between subclinical CAD and serum FGF-23 and fetuin-A concentrations among a population of young adults.

Methods A total of 241 subjects younger than 45 years who had undergone coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) were included in the study. In 117 patients, the CCTA detected subclinical CAD; the rest of the patients had no CAD detected on CCTA.

Results Serum FGF-23 and fetuin-A levels were significantly increased in the CAD patients as compared with the non-CAD patients (26.7 [interquartile range, 22.4-31.9] vs 15.7 [interquartile range, 13.2-18.1] pg/mL and 904.7 [interquartile range, 695.5-1021.6] vs 469.6 [331.4-660.5] mg/L, respectively; P < 0.001 for both). Furthermore, a positive correlation was identified between FGF-23 and fetuin-A levels and the total number of plaques (r = 0.21 and r = 0.28, respectively; P < 0.001 for both). In multivariate logistic regression analysis, age, smoking status, uric acid, FGF-23, and fetuin-A levels were found to be independently associated with the presence of CAD.

Conclusions The presence of subclinical CAD is independently associated with FGF-23 and fetuin-A and could be used as novel risk markers of cardiovascular disease in the asymptomatic young adult population.

Key Words
  • fibroblast growth factor 23
  • fetuin-A
  • subclinical atherosclerosis
  • coronary computed tomography angiography

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