Scientists have identified that a common protein known as clusterin can increase the risk of heart problems and diabetes. Clusterin was previously linked to Alzheimer's disease.
According to a new study, overproduction of the protein clusterin can increase blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol levels together known as Cardiometabolic Syndrome.
The researchers at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Research Institute and Houston Methodist Cancer Center conducted a study that linked clusterin to different aspects of the cardiometabolic syndrome. The study that spanned almost 10 years also revealed that the risk is higher in people who smoke and are physically inactive.
Clusterin Linked To CMS
"Our goal was to discover new factors produced by the cells in fat tissue that have an impact on cardiometabolic disease. In particular, we wanted to identify those important to maintaining the framework of fat tissue, called the extracellular matrix, which becomes dysfunctional in obesity," said lead author Dr. David Bradley, assistant professor at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
The research indicates that clusterin, an extracellular protein mass produced from the fat cells of obese patients, is linked to insulin resistance. It is also associated with elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, fatty liver disease, and mortality based on the research findings published in Diabetes Care.
It is common for obese patients to suffer from metabolic and cardiovascular issues. Their bodies also become resistant to insulin, which is the leading cause of Type 2 Diabetes.
Clusterin And Alzheimer's
The research, which regards the importance of clusterin in the development of cardiometabolic syndrome, may help scientists to develop new treatments for this fatal combination of high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity, explains Dr. K Craig Kent, dean of the Ohio State College of Medicine.
Previously, clusterin's role was mostly studied in the context of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's. However, this is the first time that its wider role in human diseases and physiology has come to light.
According to the World Health Organization and American Society of Endocrinology, CMS affects 25 percent of the world's population and is now recognized as a disease. People suffering from CMS are twice as likely to die from coronary disease and thrice more likely to have a heart attack or stroke compared to those who do not have this condition.