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PhD ceremony Ms. M.J. Noordzij: Skin autofluorescence and atherosclerosis

When:We 30-10-2013 at 14:30

PhD ceremony: Ms. M.J. Noordzij, 14.30 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Skin autofluorescence and atherosclerosis

Promotor(s): prof. R.O.B. Gans, prof. A.J. Smit

Faculty: Medical Sciences

Advanced glycation end products (AGE) are harmful substances that slowly accumulate in our body during lifetime. This is part of the normal aging process, but in several diseases the accumulation of these harmful AGE is accelerated and increased. This is well known for diabetes mellitus, kidney failure and several rheumatic diseases. Accumulation of AGE proved to be an important factor in causing the long term complications and early mortality in these diseases. AGE accumulation can be estimated by an advanced light technique called skin autofluorescence (SAF). My thesis has two main conclusions. First, SAF measurement can be influenced by several factors. These disturbing factors must be avoided to ensure a reliable measurement. Secondly, AGE play an important role in atherosclerotic disease. SAF, as a measure of AGE accumulation, is markedly elevated in several manifestations of atherosclerosis. My studies show a markedly elevated SAF in patients with carotid stenosis, patients with peripheral artery disease and in patients with type 2 diabetes who have macro vascular disease. SAF therefore seems a reliable indicator of atherosclerosis. Previous research in type 2 diabetic patients showed that SAF was a good risk indicator of future cardiovascular disease, in addition to, and independent of classical cardiovascular risk factors (such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and smoking). Because SAF measurement is very easy and quick, it has great potential to be widely used in medical practice for estimating atherosclerosis and future cardiovascular risk.

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