HealthDay News — For patients with type 1 diabetes, the correlation between pro-protein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) and LDL cholesterol is only seen in the highest tertile for HbA1c, according to a study published in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Stéphanie Laugier-Robiolle, from the CHU Poitiers in France, and colleagues examined the correlation between circulating PCSK9 and metabolic parameters in type 1 diabetes. Plasma PCSK9 levels were measured in 195 patients with type 1 diabetes (mean age: 38.8 years) who were free from lipid-lowering agents.

The researchers observed a positive correlation between plasma PCSK9 and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoprotein B, HbA1c, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and BMI. PCSK9 concentration correlated independently with HbA1c and LDL cholesterol in multivariate analysis. After classification of patients by HbA1c tertiles, PCSK9 was only associated with LDL cholesterol in the highest HbA1c tertile (P =.0006), while there was no association in the lowest and intermediate tertiles.

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“This study suggests that good glycemic control abolishes the positive relationship between PCSK9 and LDL cholesterol in patients with type 1 diabetes,” the researchers wrote. “However, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain to be established.”

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  1. Laugier-Robiolle S, Vergès B, Le Bras M, et al. Glycemic control impacts the relationship between plasma PCSK9 and LDL cholesterol in type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2016 Nov 2. doi:10.1111/dom.12819.