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Clin Radiol. 2009 Nov;64(11):1097-103. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2009.06.009. Epub 2009 Aug 22.

Factors associated with gender difference in the intima-media thickness of the common carotid artery.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital-Kaohsiung Medical Center, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Abstract

AIM:

To investigate the gender differences associated with a thinner intima-media thickness (IMT) of the common carotid artery (CCA) in women.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

In a sample of 218 consecutive healthy volunteers comprising 110 men and 108 women, the IMT of the CCA was measured using B-mode ultrasonography. Blood pressure, fasting blood sugar, body mass index (BMI), blood lipid profile, homocysteine, folic acid, uric acid, high sensitive C-reactive protein, and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) levels were measured and compared with each other in both genders.

RESULTS:

The IMT of the CCA was significantly thinner in women than in men (p=0.012). Blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose, BMI, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, homocysteine, uric acid, and TBARS were significantly (p<0.05) lower, folic acid and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) were significantly (p<0.0001) higher in women compared with men. Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that higher serum levels of homocysteine, uric acid, and TBARS, and lower serum levels of HDL-C were significantly (p<0.05) associated with male sex. Multiple linear regression analysis further revealed that age, sex, and BMI were independently associated with CCA IMT.

CONCLUSIONS:

The IMT of the CCA was thinner in women than in men. Traditional vascular risk factors explain only a small amount of variance in multivariate regression models supporting the hypothesis that other behavioural, sex hormone-related or genetic factors, which have not been sufficiently explored so far, may play a role in the gender differences of IMT.

PMID:
19822243
DOI:
10.1016/j.crad.2009.06.009
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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