, 11:13,
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Date: 07 Sep 2012

Gender differences in association between metabolic syndrome and carotid intima media thickness



Metabolic syndrome (Mets) is a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors which can predicts cardiovascular disease (CVD). Carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) is known as a surrogate measure of subclinical atherosclerosis and predictor of CVD. Although, it has shown the association between Mets and CIMT, this relation regarding sex differences is limited. We aimed to find out whether gender differences in this association.


In this cross-sectional study, we recorded height, weight, waist circumference (WC), blood pressure, and lipid profiles. We used Mets; defined based on NCEP ATP III definition, and traditional cardiovascular risk factors; age, body mass index (BMI), WC, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension, in multivariate regression models which including;. The CIMT measurement < 0.73 or ≥0.73 mm was considered as low- or high risk to CVD.


Overall, 150 subjects were enrolled to study that their ages were 36-75 years. The 47.3% of them (71 subjects) had Mets. CIMT was increased in Mets group compared non-Mets group (P = 0.001). In logistic regression analysis, a significant association was found between Mets and CIMT in women, but not in men (p = 0.002, and p = 0.364, respectively). After adjustment to age, WC, BMI, hypertension and hyperlipidemia, this association was significant just in women (p = 0.011) independent of WC, BMI, hyperlipidemia and hypertension.


Our data showed that MetS is a stronger risk factor for subclinical atherosclerosis in women than in men. So, we suggest the assessment of CIMT along with definition Mets in middle-aged women could be lead to earlier detection of at risk individuals to CVD.