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Title: Insulin resistance, ethnicity and cardiovascular risk
Author: Malik, Muhammad Omar
ISNI:       0000 0004 5348 1506
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2015
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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. The literature supports a series of established risk factors for CVD: age, gender, family history of CVD, ethnicity (un-modifiable); and high blood pressure, blood cholesterol, TGs, LDL, diabetes, pre-diabetes, obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, stress and unhealthy diet (modifiable). High blood pressure (hypertension) shares many of these risk factors. However, much of the variance/risk in both conditions cannot be explained. This has led to a search for novel risk factors, including insulin resistance and subclinical inflammation, the significance of which at present are controversial, particularly in relation to hypertension. There are also ethnic differences in the incidence, prevalence, risk factors and progression of cardiovascular disease. In some populations CVD occurs at an earlier age and progresses more rapidly. In this thesis I worked on two datasets in relation to hypertension, cardiovascular disease and their risk factors: (i) the RISC (Relationship between Insulin Sensitivity and Cardiovascular disease) study (chapters 2, 3, 5 and 6); and (ii) routinely-collected national data in Scotland via the SDRN (Scottish Diabetes Research Network) and SCI-Diabetes (chapter 2 and 7). Work on data from the RISC cohort focused on the relation between clamp-measured insulin sensitivity (its unique feature), inflammatory markers and hypertension; the SDRN work addressed ethnic differences in relation to diabetes and CVD. The first study (Chapter 3) examined the importance of insulin sensitivity/resistance in the development of hypertension and change in blood pressure over three years of follow-up in the healthy European (EU) RISC population. Systolic BP (SBP) was higher at baseline in insulin resistant (IR) women. There was no difference in BP in relation to IR in men. After adjustment for age, BMI, baseline BP and other covariates, low insulin sensitivity (M/I) predicted a longitudinal rise in SBP in women but not men, and SBP over time did not increase in insulin sensitive women. The second study (Chapter 4) was a systematic review of the relationships between two markers of low grade inflammation (IL-6 and CRP) and BP/hypertension, considering the roles of adiposity and insulin resistance. The systematic review showed evidence of considerable variation in the relationships amongst low grade inflammation, adiposity, insulin resistance and the development of hypertension. There appeared to be a positive association in the literature between CRP and DBP in younger individuals, although none of the studies were adjusted for insulin sensitivity determined by clamp technique. This association was further explored using RISC study data in Chapter 5 with stratification by sex and adjusting for clamp-derived insulin sensitivity. The third study (Chapter 5) examined the relationship of inflammatory markers with the development of hypertension and change in blood pressure over three years in the same healthy European population and whether any relationship was independent of clamp-measured insulin sensitivity (IS). High sensitivity C reactive protein (hsCRP) predicted prospective change in diastolic BP independent of insulin sensitivity and BMI whereas IL-6 had no relation with BP (both systolic and diastolic) or the incidence of hypertension. The fourth study (Chapter 6) evaluated all available predictors of BP rise over time (both systolic and diastolic) in a healthy EU population; moreover the significance of different predictors was examined within subgroups defined by age and sex. This analysis showed that baseline BP was the principal determinant of follow-up BP in all age and sex groups. Obesity was the second most important predictor (BMI in adults aged 30-44 years; percent change in BMI in middle age people aged 45-60 years). Lifestyle factors influenced BP via their effect on BMI. People who maintained their BMI during the three year follow-up did not exhibit a rise in BP (whether systolic or diastolic). Other important predictors identified in this analysis were insulin sensitivity in middle aged women and hsCRP in adult men. The fifth study (chapter 7) evaluated the role of ethnicity in the development of cardiovascular disease in people with type 2 diabetes living in Scotland. Over a follow-up of seven years, Pakistani people had increased risk of CVD and Chinese people had decreased risk of CVD as compared to White population. Pakistanis had an increased risk of CVD at a younger age independent of other conventional risk factors. In summary, insulin sensitivity and inflammation influence blood pressure, but their role is not generalised across different age and sex groups. BMI and change in BMI are important predictors of follow-up BP in adults and middle age healthy people, supporting a role for maintenance of BMI in preserving cardiovascular health. In addition to the known ethnic differences in the development of diabetes, I identified ethnic differences in the development of CVD.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: R Medicine (General)