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Angiopoietin-2, its soluble receptor Tie-2 and subclinical cardiovascular disease in a population-based sample
  1. Roberto Lorbeer1,
  2. Sebastian E Baumeister1,
  3. Marcus Dörr2,3,
  4. Stephan B Felix2,3,
  5. Matthias Nauck3,4,
  6. Anne Grotevendt4,
  7. Marcello R P Markus1,
  8. Bettina von Sarnowski5,
  9. Henry Völzke1,3,
  10. Ramachandran S Vasan6,
  11. Henri Wallaschofski3,4,
  12. Wolfgang Lieb7
  1. 1Institute for Community Medicine, Greifswald, Germany
  2. 2Department of Internal Medicine, Greifswald, Germany
  3. 3DZHK (German Centre for Cardiovascular Research), Greifswald, Germany
  4. 4Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Greifswald, Germany
  5. 5Department of Neurology, University Medicine, Ernst Moritz Arndt University Greifswald, Germany
  6. 6Preventive Medicine & Epidemiology Section, Boston University School of Medicine and Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, Massachusetts, USA
  7. 7Institute for Epidemiology, Christian Albrechts University, Kiel, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Professor Wolfgang Lieb, Institute of Epidemiology, Campus UKSH, Niemannsweg 11, Haus 1, Kiel, Germany; wolfgang.lieb{at}


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.

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