4 years ago

The association between serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor and a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors in adolescents: The CHAMPS-study DK

Anne Kær Gejl, Lars Bo Andersen, Lone Peijs, Anna Bugge, Jakob Tarp, Natascha Holbæk Pedersen, Tao Huang
Background and objective

Cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes pose a global health burden. Therefore, clarifying the pathology of these risk factors is essential. Previous studies have found positive and negative associations between one or more cardiovascular risk factors and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) probably due to diverse methodological approaches when analysing peripheral BDNF levels. Moreover, only a few studies have been performed in youth populations. Consequently, the main objective of this study was to examine the association between serum BDNF and a composite z-score consisting of six cardiovascular risk factors. A secondary aim was to examine the associations between serum BDNF and each of the six risk factors.


Four hundred and forty-seven apparently healthy adolescents between 11–17 years of age participated in this cross-sectional study. Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), anthropometrics, pubertal status, blood pressure (BP), serum BDNF, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglyceride (TG), blood glucose and insulin were measured. Information about alcohol consumption and socio-economic status was collected via questionnaires. Associations were modelled using linear regression analysis.


Serum BDNF was positively associated with the composite z-score in the total study sample (standardized beta coefficient (std.β) = 0.10, P = 0.037). In males, serum BDNF was positively associated with the composite z-score (Std. β = 0.14, P = 0.034) and HOMA-IR (Std. β = 0.19, P = 0.004), and negatively associated with CRF (Std. β = -0.15, P = 0.026). In females, BDNF was positively associated with TG (Std. β = 0.14, P = 0.030) and negatively associated with waist circumference (WC) (Std. β = -0.16, P = 0.012).


Serum BDNF was positively associated with a composite z-score of cardiovascular risk factors. This association seems to be mainly driven by the association between TG, HOMA-IR and serum BDNF, and particularly for males. Further longitudinal research is warranted to determine the temporal relationship between BDNF and cardiovascular risk factors.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0186384

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.