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The associations of self-rated health with cardiovascular risk proteins : A proteomics approach

  • Xue Bao
  • Yan Borné
  • Songjiang Yin
  • Kaijun Niu
  • Marju Orho-Melander
  • Jan Nilsson
  • Olle Melander
  • Gunnar Engström
Publishing year: 2019-11-18
Language: English
Publication/Series: Clinical Proteomics
Volume: 16
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Humana Press

Abstract english

Background: Though subjective, poor self-rated health (SRH) has consistently been shown to predict cardiovascular disease (CVD). The underlying mechanism is unclear. This study evaluates the associations of SRH with biomarkers for CVD, aiming to explore potential pathways between poor SRH and CVD.

Methods: Based on the Malmö Diet and Cancer Cardiovascular Cohort study, a targeted proteomics approach was used to assess the associations of SRH with 88 cardiovascular risk proteins, measured in plasma from 4521 participants without CVD. The false discovery rate (FDR) was controlled using the Benjamini and Hochberg method. Covariates taken into consideration were age, sex, traditional CVD risk factors (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, anti-hypertensive medication, diabetes, body mass index, smoking), comorbidity, life-style and psycho-social factors (education level, living alone, alcohol consumption, low physical activity, psychiatric medication, sleep duration, and unemployment).

Results: Age and sex-adjusted associations with SRH was found for 34 plasma proteins. Nine of them remained significant after adjustments for traditional CVD risk factors. After further adjustment for comorbidity, life-style and psycho-social factors, only leptin (β = - 0.035, corrected p = 0.016) and C-C motif chemokine 20 (CCL20; β = - 0.054, corrected p = 0.016) were significantly associated with SRH.

Conclusions: Poor SRH was associated with raised concentrations of many plasma proteins. However, the relationships were largely attenuated by adjustments for CVD risk factors, comorbidity and psycho-social factors. Leptin and CCL20 were associated with poor SRH in the present study and could potentially be involved in the SRH-CVD link.


  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
  • C-C motif chemokine 20
  • Leptin
  • Proteomic
  • Self-rated health


  • Cardiovascular Research - Epidemiology
  • Genomics, Diabetes and Endocrinology
  • Diabetes - Cardiovascular Disease
  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Athersosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular Research - Hypertension
  • ISSN: 1542-6416
E-mail: jan [dot] nilsson [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Lund University Diabetes Centre, CRC, SUS Malmö, Jan Waldenströms gata 35, House 91:12. SE-214 28 Malmö. Telephone: +46 40 39 10 00