Background: Metabolic risk factors are known to cause atherosclerosis through inflammation. In the process of inflammation, soluble Fas (sFas) may interfere with the apoptotic pathway and contribute to dysregulated inflammation. Recent studies suggest sFas as a marker of inflammation in patients with cardiovascular diseases. However, whether a relationship exists between sFas levels and metabolic risk factors among healthy subjects remains unclear. Materials and methods We measured the serum sFas levels of 876 subjects selected as controls for a nested case-control study within the JACC Study. The adjusted means of the sFas levels were compared according to the presence of overweight/obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes and their clusters. Results sFas level was significantly associated with overweight/obesity (2·42 ng mL-1 in overweight/obese men and 2·19 in others) and hyperlipidaemia (2·34 ng mL-1 in men with hyperlipidaemia and 2·19 in others) among men, though not with hypertension or diabetes. Moreover, a clear association between sFas levels and the cluster number of metabolic risk factors was observed independently with age, smoking and drinking(2·39, 2·28, 2·24 and 2·11 ng dL-1 in men with three to four, two, one and none of the four metabolic risk factors respectively). However, among women, clear associations were not observed between sFas levels and the four metabolic risk factors or their clustering. Conclusions Serum sFas levels appear to be associated with overweight/obesity, hyperlipidaemia and clusters of metabolic risk factors among men, suggesting that sFas may elevate to down-regulate increased apoptosis in atherogenesis processes.
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