BackgroundWhether plasma proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) levels is a predictor for cardiovascular outcomes has currently been controversial. No data is currently available regarding the relation of PCSK9 to cardiovascular metabolic markers (CVMMs) and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) in stable coronary artery disease (CAD) patients with diabetes or without diabetes.MethodsA total 1225 untreated patients with stable CAD were consecutively enrolled and their baseline plasma PCSK9 levels were determined by ELISA. Patients were divided into high and low PCSK9 groups according to PCSK9 median. All patients followed up for the occurrence of MACEs and received standard therapy after admission. The associations of PCSK9 with CVMMs and MACEs were evaluated.ResultsPCSK9 levels were positively correlated with multiple CVMMs including total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and hemoglobin A1c at baseline (all p < 0.05). During a median follow-up of 3.3 years, 103 (8.4%) events occurred. PCSK9 levels were higher in patients with events compared to those without (p < 0.05). The Kaplan–Meier analysis displayed that patients in high PCSK9 group had lower event-free survival than that in low group (p < 0.05). Multivariable Cox regression analysis revealed that PCSK9 levels were independently associated with MACEs in diabetic patients (adjusted hazard ratio [HR]: 1.361, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.037–1.785, p < 0.05). When added the combination of PCSK9 levels and diabetic status to stratifying factors, patients in high PCSK9 group appeared to have extremely high risk of subsequent MACEs with diabetes (adjusted HR: 5.233, 95% CI: 2.546–10.757, p < 0.01).ConclusionsThe present study firstly showed that elevated PCSK9 levels were related to multiple CVMMs and MACEs in stable CAD with diabetes, suggesting that plasma PCSK9 measurement could help to identify diabetic patients with CAD at higher cardiovascular risk. More studies may be needed to confirm our findings.