Longitudinal Change in Galectin-3 and Incident Cardiovascular Outcomes


Galectin-3 (Gal-3) has been associated with heart failure (HF) and poor cardiovascular outcomes. However, the effect of longitudinal changes in Gal-3 on clinical outcomes remains unclear.


The authors sought to study clinical determinants of change in Gal-3 among community-dwelling individuals. Further, they sought to examine the role of serial Gal-3 measurements in predicting risk of future HF, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and mortality.


A total of 2,477 participants in the Framingham Heart Study Offspring cohort underwent measurement of plasma Gal-3 levels at 2 examinations (1995 to 1998 and 2005 to 2008). Linear regression models were used to examine clinical correlates of change in Gal-3. Proportional hazards models were used to relate future clinical outcomes with change in Gal-3.


The following clinical correlates were associated with greater longitudinal increases in Gal-3 levels: age, female sex, hypertension, diabetes, body mass index, interim development of chronic kidney disease, and HF (p < 0.0001 for all in multivariable model). Change in Gal-3 was associated with future HF (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.39 per 1-SD increase; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.13 to 1.71), CVD (HR: 1.29; 95% CI: 1.11 to 1.51), and all-cause mortality (HR: 1.30; 95% CI: 1.17 to 1.46). Change in Gal-3 was associated with both HF with preserved as well as reduced ejection fraction (p < 0.05 for both).


Longitudinal changes in Gal-3 are associated with traditional cardiovascular risk factors and renal disease. In turn, change in Gal-3 predicts future HF, CVD, and mortality in the community. Future studies are needed to determine whether serial Gal-3 measures may be useful in disease prevention.

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