Aims: Serum insulin-like growth factor binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2) is low in persons with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) and possibly regulated by metformin. Counter-intuitively, high IGFBP-2 associates with mortality. We investigated the association between IGFBP-2, metformin-treatment, and indices of insulin sensitivity, and assessed IGFBP-2 in relation to prior comorbidity and mortality during five-year follow-up. Methods: The study included 859 treatment-naive and 558 metformin-treated persons enrolled in the Danish Centre for Strategic Research in T2D and followed for 4.9 (3.9–5.9) years through national health registries. All proteins were determined in serum collected at enrollment. Results: Following adjustment for age, metformin-treated and treatment-naive persons has similar IGFBP-2 levels. Low IGFBP-2 level was associated with increased BMI, fasting glucose, and C-peptide. IGFBP-2 was higher in the 437 persons who had comorbidities at enrollment than in those with T2D only (343 (213;528) vs. 242 (169;378) ng/mL). During follow-up, 87 persons died, and IGFBP-2 predicted mortality with an unadjusted HR (95% CI) per doubling in IGFBP-2 concentration of 2.62 (2.04;3.37) and a HR of 2.21 (1.61;3.01) following full adjustment. Conclusions: In T2D, high IGFBP-2 associates with low glucose and insulin secretion, is unaffected by metformin treatment, and associates with risk of prior comorbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110977
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

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© 2023


  • Comorbidity, insulin-like growth factor binding protein-2
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Metformin
  • Mortality
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus


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