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Am J Med Sci. 2013 Oct;346(4):289-94. doi: 10.1097/MAJ.0b013e3182732e97.

Gender-specific association between the metabolic syndrome and arterial stiffness in 8,300 subjects.

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Department of Cardiology (CW, HY, KY, XT, ZH, LH, WC), Center of Clinical Pharmacology (HY), and Health Management Center (FC, ZC, PY), the Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China.



The objective of this study was to determine the sex-specific association between the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and arterial stiffness.


In this cross-sectional study, 3981 women and 4319 men aged 20 to 79 years were analyzed. All participants underwent the measurement of waist circumference, blood pressure (BP), brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) and blood chemistry. baPWV levels were compared between men and women using the Mann-Whitney's U test. Subjects with or without MetS and its components or specific clusters of MetS components in the different sexes were compared by the Kruskal-Wallis test. Binary logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the relationship between baPWV and the MetS components.


Women had lower baPWV than men in young and middle-aged subjects (P < 0.001), but there was no difference in the elderly subjects. baPWV levels in women were higher than in men with MetS and its components except for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C; P < 0.01). The combination of elevated triglycerides, elevated BP and elevated fasting glucose (with obesity or low HDL-C) had a greater baPWV than the other clusters. All the metabolic variables were positively correlated with baPWV except for HDL-C negatively correlating in women (P < 0.001), whereas age, BP and fasting glucose were moderately associated with baPWV in men (P < 0.001). Among the MetS components, BP had the strongest association with baPWV.


The MetS and its components affect arterial stiffness more severely in women than in men. More importance to women with MetS should be given.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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