Plasma Methylglyoxal Levels Associated With CVD, Mortality in Type 2 Diabetes

A woman testing her glucose levels
A woman testing her glucose levels
Investigators sought to determine whether methylglyoxal levels are associated with cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes.

For patients with type 2 diabetes, higher plasma methylglyoxal (MGO) and glyoxal (GO) levels are associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality, according to results published in Diabetes Care.

Dicaronyl levels may be an effective target for reducing CVD and mortality among this patient population.

The study included participants with type 2 diabetes from the Second Manifestations of Arterial disease cohort (n=1003). The researchers used mass spectrometry to measure plasma MGO, GO, and 3-deoxyglucosone at baseline. Mean follow-up was 8.6 years.

During the follow-up period, 287 participants experienced at least 1 CVD event. Of these, 194 were fatal, 146 were myocardial infarctions, and 72 were strokes.

A total of 346 participants died during the follow-up period and 60 participants underwent an amputation.

After analysis, the researchers found that higher MGO levels were associated with CVD (hazard ratio [HR] 1.26; 95% CI, 1.11-1.42), fatal CVD (HR 1.49; 95% CI, 1.30–1.71), all-cause mortality (HR 1.25; 95% CI, 1.11-1.40), myocardial infarction (HR 1.22; 95% CI, 1.02-1.45), and amputations (HR 1.36; 95% CI, 1.05-1.76). MGO levels were not, however, associated with stroke (HR 1.03; 95% CI, 0.79-1.35).

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They also found that higher GO levels were significantly associated with fatal CVD (HR 1.17; 95% CI, 1.00-1.37). However, 3-deoxyglucosone levels were not significantly associated with any of the outcomes.


Hanssen NMJ, Westerink J, Scheijen JLJM, et al. Higher plasma methylglyoxal levels are associated with incident cardiovascular disease and mortality in individuals with type 2 diabetes. [published online May 21, 2018]. Diabetes Care. doi:10.2337/dc18-0159