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01.12.2012 | Original investigation | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

Cardiovascular Diabetology 1/2012

High levels of lipoprotein(a) are associated with a lower prevalence of diabetes with advancing age: Results of a cross-sectional epidemiological survey in Gran Canaria, Spain

Cardiovascular Diabetology > Ausgabe 1/2012
Mauro Boronat, Pedro Saavedra, Nuria Pérez-Martín, María J López-Madrazo, Carlos Rodríguez-Pérez, Francisco J Nóvoa
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1475-2840-11-81) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

M.B. conceived the study and wrote the manuscript, P.S. performed the statistical analyses, N.P.-M. M.J.L.-M. and C.R.-P. researched the data and helped to draft the manuscript, and F.J.N. reviewed the manuscript and contributed to the discussion. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Recent data suggest that concentrations of lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] may be inversely associated with the risk of diabetes. This study analyzed the relationships between Lp(a) and both diabetes and insulin resistance in an adult cohort from the island of Gran Canaria, Spain.


Lp(a), homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and conventional risk factors for diabetes were assessed in a sample of 1,030 adult individuals participating in a cross-sectional population-based epidemiological survey in the city of Telde. Diabetes was defined according to the WHO 1999 criteria, or as a previous diagnosis of diabetes. To identify patients at risk for diabetes, an Lp(a) cutoff level of 46 mg/dl was selected previously using classification and regression tree analysis. A multivariate logistic regression model with L2-regularization was used to assess the independent effect of Lp(a) on diabetes and its interactions with variables traditionally linked to the disease. Additionally, to investigate the effect of Lp(a) on insulin resistance, a parametric model was developed to describe the relationship between age and HOMA-IR values in subjects with levels of Lp(a) ≤46 or >46 mg/dl.


Along with variables known to be associated with diabetes, including age, mean blood pressure, serum triglycerides, and an interaction term between age and low HDL cholesterol, the logistic model identified a significant inverse association for diabetes and the interaction term between age and Lp(a) levels >46 mg/dl. According to the proposed parametric model, HOMA-IR was significantly lower in subjects of all ages who had Lp(a) levels >46 mg/dl.


These results suggest that the age-related increase in the probability of having diabetes is significantly lower in subjects with Lp(a) levels >46 mg/dl. This could be explained in part by a lower insulin resistance in this subset of the population.
Authors’ original file for figure 1
Authors’ original file for figure 2
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