Plasma Galectin-3 and Sonographic Measures of Carotid Atherosclerosis in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study

Abayomi Oyenuga, Aaron R. Folsom, Oluwaseun Fashanu, David Aguilar, Christie M. Ballantyne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Galectin-3 is a β-galactoside-binding lectin that plays a role in the regulation of several conditions that are associated with atherosclerosis. The goal of this cross-sectional study was to assess the association of plasma galectin-3 concentrations with sonographic measures of carotid atherosclerosis in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. Linear regression was used to determine the difference and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for carotid intima–media thickness (cIMT) by categorical and continuous representations of galectin-3. Logistic regression was used to determine the odds ratio and 95% CI, separately, for dichotomized cIMT (75th percentile = 0.9 mm) and carotid plaque and/or shadowing. Compared to those in the first quintile of galectin-3, those in the fifth quintile of galectin-3 level had higher cIMT (mean difference: 0.020 mm after multivariable adjustment; P trend =.04). Moreover, compared to those in the lowest galectin-3 quintile, those in the highest galectin-3 quintile had higher odds of carotid plaque/and or shadowing (odds ratio 1.13 after multivariable adjustment; P trend =.014). Higher levels of galectin-3 are associated with greater carotid atherosclerosis. Our findings provide support for the role of inflammatory biomarkers in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and suggest galectin-3 as a possible target for intervention in the prevention or management of atherosclerotic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under contract nos HHSN268201700001I, HHSN268201700002I, HHSN268201700003I, HHSN268201700005I, and HHSN268201700004I. Christie M. Ballantyne received grant/ research support from Abbott Diagnostics and Roche Diagnostics (to institution, not individual). Abbott Diagnostics provided funding for the galectin-3 measurements.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.


  • ARIC
  • atherosclerosis
  • carotid intima–media thickness
  • galectin-3
  • plaque
  • shadowing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Plasma Galectin-3 and Sonographic Measures of Carotid Atherosclerosis in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this