Depression has been associated with diabetic retinopathy and increased plasma levels of galectin-3, a lectin expressed in activated macrophages. Increased levels of sCD163, the soluble form of a macrophage expressed scavenger receptor involved in several inflammatory processes, have been demonstrated in the vitreous of the eye in type 1 diabetes (T1D) patients with severe diabetic retinopathy. The aim was to explore whether circulating sCD163 was associated with diabetic retinopathy, depression and/or galectin-3 in T1D patients, controlling for gender, metabolic factors, other diabetes complications, life style and medication.
Two hundred eighty-seven T1D patients, men 56%, age 18–59 years, diabetes duration ≥1 year, were consecutively recruited from one specialist diabetes clinic. Depression was assessed by Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Depression subscale. Blood samples, anthropometrics and blood pressure values were collected, supplemented with data from electronic medical records and the Swedish National Diabetes Registry. High plasma sCD163 was defined as ≥0.575 mg/L (corresponding to the 80th percentile) and high plasma galectin-3 as ≥4.659 µg/L (corresponding to the 95th percentile).
The prevalence of depression was 10%, antidepressant medication 8%, diabetic retinopathy 72%, high sCD163 20% and high galectin 3 5%. High galectin-3 (AOR 9.7), antidepressants (AOR 3.8), diabetic retinopathy (AOR 2.4) and systolic blood pressure (per mmHg) (AOR 1.03) were associated with high sCD163.