Agreement between circulating IGF-I, IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-3 levels measured by current assays versus unavailable assays previously used in epidemiological studies

Chino S. Aneke-Nash, Clara Dominguez-Islas, Petra Bůžková, Qibin Qi, Xiaonan Xue, Michael Pollak, Howard D. Strickler, Robert C. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) proteins are associated with the risk of cancer and mortality. IGF assays produced by Diagnostic Systems Laboratories (DSL) were widely used in epidemiological studies, were not calibrated against recommended standards and are no longer commercially available. Design: In a split sample study among 1471 adults participating in the Cardiovascular Health Study, we compared values obtained using DSL assays with alternative assays for serum IGF-I (Immunodiagnostic Systems, IDS), IGFBP-1 (American Laboratory Products Company, ALPCO) and IGFBP-3 (IDS). Results: Results were compared using kernel density estimation plots, quartile analysis with weighted kappa statistics and linear regression models to assess the concordance of data from the different assays. Participants had a mean age of 77 years. Results between alternative assays were strongly correlated (IGF-I, r = 0.93 for DSL versus IDS; log-IGFBP-1, r = 0.90 for DSL versus ALPCO; IGFBP-3, r = 0.92 for DSL versus IDS). Cross tabulations showed that participants were usually in the same quartile categories regardless of the assay used (overall agreement, 74% for IGF-I, 64% for IGFBP-1, 71% for IGFBP-3). Weighted kappa also showed substantial agreement between assays (kw, 0.78 for IGF-I, 0.69 for IGFBP-1, 0.76 for IGFBP-3). Regressions of levels obtained with DSL assays (denoted X) to alternative assays were, IGF-I: 0.52X + 15.2 ng/ml, log-IGFBP-1: 1.01X - 1.73 ng/ml IGFBP-3: 0.87X + 791.1 ng/ml. Serum values of IGF-I, IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-3 measured using alternative assays are moderately correlated. Conclusions: Care is needed in the interpretation of data sets involving IGF analytes if assay methodologies are not uniform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalGrowth Hormone and IGF Research
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016



  • Diabetes
  • Glycemic status
  • Insulin-like growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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