, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 235-241
Date: 16 Mar 2012

Elevated serum cystatin C in severe OSA younger men without complications

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Serum cystatin C is a promising new biomarker of glomerular filtration rate and cardiovascular events, but few studies focused on serum cystatin C levels in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients. The aim of our study was to evaluate the association between serum cystatin C and OSA in younger men (≤40 years old of age) without complications.


We prospectively recruited consecutive participants without comorbidities who underwent polysomnography. Fasting blood samples were obtained from all subjects for biological profile measurements. Statistical analysis was used to evaluate the relationship between serum cystatin C and other parameters.


The population consisted of 98 subjects (mean age = 32.5 years, mean body mass index = 27.93 kg/m2) that were divided according to polysomnographic finding into control group (n = 23), mild (n = 15), moderate (n = 24), and severe (n = 36) OSA group. Compared with the control group, patients with severe OSA were significantly heavier (body mass index, 29.69 ± 3.81 vs. 26.42 ± 3.10) and presented significantly higher levels of high sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) (1.10 ± 0.28 vs. 0.88 ± 0.20 mg/l) and serum cystatin C (0.87 ± 0.12 vs. 0.74 ± 0.10 mg/l) (p < 0.05 for all comparisons). Cystatin C was correlated with Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI), Oxygen Desaturation Index, hsCRP, creatinine, and estimated glomerular filtration rate (r = 0.319, 0.279, 0.321, 0.233, −0.241, p = 0.001, 0.005, 0.001, 0.021, 0.017, respectively). After adjustment for confounding factors, AHI was significantly and positively associated with serum cystatin C levels (β = 0.284, p = 0.007).


Our finding indicated that serum cystatin C was associated with the severity of OSA in younger men. Further study is needed to find out whether OSA patients with increased serum cystatin C levels are prone to subclinical cardiovascular and renal diseases.