Healthy lifestyles reduce suPAR and mortality in a Danish general population study

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Background The plasma level of the inflammatory biomarker soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) is a strong predictor of disease development and premature mortality in the general population. Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking or unhealthy eating is known to elevate the suPAR level. We aimed to investigate whether change in lifestyle habits impact on the suPAR level, and whether the resultant levels are associated with mortality. Results Paired suPAR measurements from baseline- and the 5-year visit of the population-based Inter99 study were compared with the habits of diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity. Paired suPAR measurements for 3225 individuals were analyzed by linear regression, adjusted for demographics and lifestyle habits. Compared to individuals with a healthy lifestyle, an unhealthy diet, low physical activity, and daily smoking were associated with a 5.9, 12.8, and 17.6% higher 5-year suPAR, respectively. During 6.1 years of follow-up after the 5-year visit, 1.6% of those with a low suPAR (mean 2.93 ng/ml) died compared with 3.8% of individuals with a high suPAR (mean 4.73 ng/ml), P <  0.001. In Cox regression analysis, adjusted for demographics and lifestyle, the hazard ratio for mortality per 5-year suPAR doubling was 2.03 (95% CI: 1.22–3.37). Conclusion Lifestyle has a considerable impact on suPAR levels; the combination of unhealthy habits was associated with 44% higher 5-year suPAR values and the 5-year suPAR was a strong predictor of mortality. We propose suPAR as a candidate biomarker for lifestyle changes as well as the subsequent risk of mortality.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalImmunity and Ageing
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Chronic inflammation, Prognosis, Biological ageing, Biomarker, Risk, Lifestyle change, Impact, Diet, Smoking, Exercise

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