Background: Sortilin is a 95-kDa protein which has recently been linked to circulating cholesterol concentration and lifetime risk of developing significant atherosclerotic disease. Sortilin is found inside different cell types and circulating in blood. Higher circulating sortilin concentration has been found in patients with coronary atherosclerosis compared to control subjects. Sortilin concentration is influenced by statin therapy. Methods: We enrolled statin-naïve subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus and we performed a cross-sectional study to evaluate the association between sortilin levels and the presence of clinically significant lower limb peripheral artery disease (PAD) in a population of statin-free diabetic subjects. Results: Out of the 154 patients enrolled in our study, 80 patients were free from PAD, while 74 had clinically significant PAD. Sortilin concentration was significantly higher in the latter group compared to the former (1.61 ± 0.54 ng/mL versus 0.67 ± 0.30 ng/mL, P < 0.01) and there was a trend toward increased sortilin levels as disease severity increased. The association of sortilin levels with PAD remained after adjusting for major risk factors in a multivariate analysis. Conclusions: We showed that sortilin is significantly and independently associated with the presence of lower limb PAD in a statin-free diabetic population and it may be a promising marker for clinically significant atherosclerosis of the lower limbs. Further studies are needed to confirm this finding and to evaluate its clinical usefulness.
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Internal Medicine
- Lower limb peripheral artery disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus