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Jan Nilsson


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Plasma prostasin : a novel risk marker for incidence of diabetes and cancer mortality


  • Xue Bao
  • Biao Xu
  • Iram Faqir Muhammad
  • Peter M. Nilsson
  • Jan Nilsson
  • Gunnar Engström

Summary, in English

Aims/hypothesis: Diabetes is associated with an increased risk of cancer. Prostasin is an epithelial sodium channel stimulator that has been associated with suppression of tumours, glucose metabolism and hyperglycaemia-associated tumour pathology. However, the association between prostasin, diabetes and cancer mortality has not been well investigated in humans. We aim to investigate the associations between plasma prostasin and diabetes, and to explore whether prostasin has an effect on cancer mortality risk in individuals with hyperglycaemia. Methods: Plasma prostasin was measured using samples from the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study Cardiovascular Cohort, and statistical analysis was performed from both sex-specific quartiles and per 1 SD. The cross-sectional association between plasma prostasin and diabetes was first studied in 4658 participants (age 57.5 ± 5.9 years, 39.9% men). After excluding 361 with prevalent diabetes, the associations of prostasin with incident diabetes and cancer mortality risk were assessed using Cox regression analysis. The interactions between prostasin and blood glucose levels as well as other covariates were tested. Results: The adjusted OR for prevalent diabetes in the 4th vs 1st quartile of prostasin concentrations was 1.95 (95% CI 1.39, 2.76) (p for trend <0.0001). During mean follow-up periods of 21.9 ± 7.0 and 23.5 ± 6.1 years, respectively, 702 participants developed diabetes and 651 died from cancer. Prostasin was significantly associated with the incidence of diabetes. The adjusted HR for diabetes in the 4th vs 1st quartile of prostasin concentrations was 1.76 (95% CI 1.41, 2.19) (p for trend <0.0001). Prostasin was also associated with cancer mortality There was a significant interaction between prostasin and fasting blood glucose for cancer mortality risk (p for interaction =0.022), with a stronger association observed in individuals with impaired fasting blood glucose levels at baseline (HR per 1 SD change 1.52; 95% CI 1.07, 2.16; p=0.019). Conclusions/interpretation: Plasma prostasin levels are positively associated with diabetes risk and with cancer mortality risk, especially in individuals with high blood glucose levels, which may shed new light on the relationship between diabetes and cancer. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]


  • Cardiovascular Research - Epidemiology
  • EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden
  • Internal Medicine - Epidemiology
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health
  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis

Publishing year












Document type

Journal article




  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • Cancer mortality
  • Cohort study
  • Diabetes
  • Prostasin



Research group

  • Cardiovascular Research - Epidemiology
  • Internal Medicine - Epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis


  • ISSN: 0012-186X