Elevated serum free light chains predict cardiovascular risk in type 1 diabetes mellitus

Lauren Marie Quinn, Sheridan Mcwilliam, John P Campbell, Yan Wang, David Hughes, Mark T Drayson, Parth Narendran


Aims: Increased serum polyclonal combined immunoglobulin free light chain (cFLC = FLCκ+FLCλ) has been shown to predict cardiovascular (CV) events in South Asians with type 2 diabetes mellitus. We examined whether cFLC also predicted CV risk in unselected patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Methods: cFLC was estimated in the serum of 55 adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus. CV risk was measured through two validated risk engines: Q-Risk and PROCAM. Statistical association was tested using the parametic Pearson’s or the Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient test, Student t-test or Mann-Whitney U-test and Kruskall-Wallis test for parametric or non-parametrically distributed data accordingly.

Results: cFLC was associated with CV risk. This association was significant when estimated through either risk engine (PROCAM p=0.003, Q-Risk p=0.012). cFLC was associated with diabetes mellitus duration (p=0.003), age (p=0.006) and history of cardiac disease (p=0.042).

Conclusions: These findings indicate that cFLC is a marker of CV risk in people with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Moreover, it supports emerging data demonstrating cFLC as a prognostic indicator for mortality.


free light chains, cardiovascular disease, type 1 diabetes mellitus

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15277/bjd.2016.107


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