Circulating level of hepatocyte growth factor predicts incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)

Michael P. Bancks, Suzette J. Bielinski, Paul A. Decker, Naomi Q. Hanson, Nicholas B. Larson, Hugues Sicotte, Christina L. Wassel, James S. Pankow

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15 Scopus citations


Background Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a pleotropic factor posited to have metabolic homeostatic properties. The purpose of this study is to examine whether level of HGF is associated with the development of type 2 diabetes. Methods Data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) were used to examine the prospective association between serum level of HGF and incident diabetes. Fasting HGF was measured at Exam 1 (2000-2002) in 5395 participants free from diabetes (61.5 ± 10.2 years old) and incidence of diabetes was determined at four subsequent follow-up exams over 12 years. Hazard ratios (HR) for incident diabetes were estimated according to 1 standard deviation (SD) unit increment of HGF (1 SD = 26 μg/l), before and after adjustment for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, study center, smoking status, alcohol consumption, body mass index, waist circumference, fasting glucose and insulin, C-reactive protein, and interleukin-6 levels. Results A 1 SD increment of baseline HGF was associated with a 46% (95% CI = 1.37, 1.56) increased risk of diabetes before adjustment. After adjustment, diabetes risk per 1 SD increment of HGF was attenuated but remained significantly increased (HR = 1.21; 95% CI = 1.12, 1.32). Men had a significantly greater HR compared to women per equivalent increase of HGF (p-value for sex interaction = 0.04). There was no evidence of effect modification by race/ethnicity. Conclusions This study advances understanding from cross-sectional studies and investigation of incident insulin resistance, demonstrating higher level of HGF is associated with incident diabetes and may reflect a unique type of impaired metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-72
Number of pages9
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Ethnicity
  • Hepatocyte growth factor
  • Incidence
  • Longitudinal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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