The suPAR level is elevated in patients with inflammation, cancer, and chronic diseases and is associated with:

  • Incidence of type 2 diabetes1,2
  • Incidence and duration of type 1 diabetes3
  • Type 1 diabetes complications3
  • Obesity2

In a Danish cohort of healthy individuals significantly higher suPAR values were found in those, who developed type 2 diabetes. In the group of middle-aged non-smokers, the risk of developing diabetes was significantly higher in individuals with a high suPAR level compared to those with a low suPAR level. The increased risk remained following adjustment for fasting blood glucose, age, sex, and insulin levels. A similar risk was found in the elderly1.

Similarly, among overweight individuals (BMI 25-30) with impaired glucose tolerance and a high suPAR level an increased risk of developing diabetes is observed2.

In type 1 diabetics with an eGFR >15 mL/min/1.73 m2, the suPAR level is significantly higher than in healthy controls (3.5 vs. 2.3 ng/mL), and the suPAR level is associated with duration of the diabetes. Moreover, the suPAR level is independently associated with diabetes complications. Thus, the median suPAR values in normoalbuminemia and macroalbuminemia are 3.0 ng/mL and 4.9 ng/mL, respectively. For each additional diabetes complication there is a stepwise increase in suPAR level: Number of complications: 0-4: 2.6 ng/mL (1.1-6.2); 3.0 ng/mL (1.6-10.5); 3.8 ng/mL (1.9-10.3); 4.3 ng/mL (2.1-15.1) and 4.9 ng/mL (2.9-13.2), respectively, p<0.0013.

Moreover, in diabetic patients with a high suPAR level the risk of cardiovascular diseases, autonomic dysfunction, and albuminuria is significantly higher than in patients with a low suPAR level3.

  1. Haugaard SB, Andersen O, Hansen TW et al. The immune marker soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor is associated with new-onset diabetes in non-smoking women and men. Diabet Med. 2012 Apr;29(4):479-487
  2. Heraclides A, Jensen TM, SS Rasmussen et al. The pro-inflammatory biomarker soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) is associated with incident type 2 diabetes among overweight but not obese individuals with impaired glucose regulation: effect modification by smoking and body weight status. 2013 Apr 24
  3. Theilade S, Lyngbaek S, Hansen TW, et al. Soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor levels are elevated and associated with complications in patients with type 1 diabetes. J Intern Med 2015;277