Author(s): No JI, Yang JY, Hyun HJ, Yeon CS, Choi HJ
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), a serological marker of malignant tumors, demonstrates a modest increase under nonmalignant conditions such as aging and smoking. Also, recent study results suggested that serum CEA levels may be related to insulin resistance or low-grade inflammation. The aim of this study was to investigate the factors associated with serum CEA levels in healthy non-smokers. METHODS: Data was gathered from 21,501 adults aged 20 and over. We excluded 19,081 subjects who had omissions in anthropometric measurements or laboratory tests, or who had previous or current smoking history. RESULTS: The mean CEA level was 1.18 ± 0.85 ng/dL in males and 0.93 ± 0.73 ng/dL in females. After adjustment for age, CEA level was positively correlated with fasting glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C), high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, estimated glomerular filtration rate in males. In females, CEA level was positively correlated with fasting glucose, HbA1C, HDL cholesterol, aspartate aminotransferase, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. In both gender groups, HbA1C had a strong influence on CEA levels when all other variables were included in the regression model (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Within normal range, serum CEA levels were significantly associated with HbA1C levels but not with homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance in the non-smoking population. These findings suggest that serum CEA levels are influenced by the glucose level itself instead of insulin resistance.
This article was published in Korean J Fam Med
and referenced in Journal of Integrative Oncology