Background: Prolactin is an identified marker associated with atherosclerosis. Atherosclerotic process and hence the macrovascular complications are causes for high mortality and morbidity rates among people with diabetes.
Aim: To assess the relationship between serum prolactin and cardiovascular risk in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Subjects and methods: A casecontrol study was done in Ain Shams University Hospitals, Cairo, Egypt; serum prolactin was determined in 20 non-diabetic (group 1) and 20 diabetic (group 3) male patients within 24 h of the onset of AMI and after 2 weeks. Twenty type 2 diabetic male patients without AMI and 15 healthy age and sex-matched controls represented (group 2 and group 4, respectively). The inflammatory marker hs-CRP was also measured in the studied population.
Results: Serum prolactin was significantly higher among non-diabetic (27.52±6.75 ng/ml) and diabetic patients with AMI (21.05±6.93 ng/ml) compared to the control group (11.3±2.7575 ng/ml, P<0.01) while the diabetic patients without AMI showed insignificant difference (12.2±3.15 ng/ml) with the control group (P=1). Group1 showed minimal decline in serum prolactin level 2 weeks after the onset of AMI (22.36±4.26 ng/ml) but still was significantly higher than the control group (P<0.01) while group3 showed marked decline (9.15±2.89 ng/ml) and showed insignificant difference with the control group (P=0.67). Serum prolactin showed significant positive correlation with hs-CRP among patients with AMI whether diabetic (r=0.679, P=0.001) or non diabetic (r=0.593, P=0.006).
Conclusion: Hyperprolactinemia may be associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction but the levels of prolactin are variable among diabetics. In addition, the increase in both prolactin and hs-CRP increases the atherosclerotic process and hence the macrovascular complications revealing a new mechanism for atherosclerosis in diabetics.
Key words: Prolactin, acute myocardial infarction, atherosclerosis, diabetes.
Abbreviations: AMI: acute myocardial infarction.