Objective Higher circulating Angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) levels predict cardiovascular events and mortality in clinical samples and in the general population. To better understand the underlying mechanisms, we investigated the association of circulating Ang-2 and sTie-2 (the soluble form of the Ang-2 receptor) levels with various measures of subclinical cardiovascular disease.
Methods Cross-sectional data of 3204 participants (1654 women) aged 25–88 years from the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania were analysed. LV mass (LVM) and fractional shortening were determined echocardiographically as indices of cardiac structure and function, respectively. Intima media thickness (IMT) of the common carotid artery, the number of carotid plaques and flow-mediated dilation (FMD) were used to characterise large and medium-sized arterial structure and function.
Results Multivariable-adjusted linear and negative binomial regression models revealed an inverse association of circulating Ang-2 levels (independent variable) with fractional shortening (ß=−0.51 per 1 SD increment; 95% CI −0.86 to −0.16, p=0.005) and a positive association with number of carotid plaques (rate ratio=1.04 95% CI 1.01 to 1.07, p=0.019). No associations of Ang-2 or sTie-2 with LVM, IMT and FMD were found.
Conclusions Circulating Ang-2 levels were associated with select subclinical cardiovascular disease traits, consistent with the notion that the Ang-2-pathway plays a role in mediating cardiovascular morbidity.