Asymmetric dimethylarginine and symmetric dimethylarginine prospectively relates to carotid wall thickening in black men: the SABPA study
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The relationship of both asymmetric (ADMA) and symmetric (SDMA) dimethylarginine with carotid wall thickness is inconclusive especially among black populations. We aimed to compare carotid intima media thickness (cIMT) and dimethylarginine levels in 75 black and 91 white men at baseline and after a 3-year follow-up, and to investigate associations of percentage change in cIMT with percentage change in dimethylarginine levels (ADMA and SDMA). Plasma levels of ADMA and SDMA were determined with a liquid chromatography mass spectrometry method and B-mode ultrasonography was used to determine the cIMT at baseline and follow-up. In black men, mean cIMT (p = 0.79) and ADMA levels (p = 0.67) remained the same, but SDMA levels were lower (p < 0.001) when comparing baseline and follow-up. In white men, cIMT increased (p < 0.001), but both mean ADMA and SDMA levels decreased (p < 0.001) over time. In black men, percentage change in cIMT was positively associated with percentage change in ADMA (R 2 = 0.49; β = 0.46; p < 0.001) and percentage change in SDMA (R 2 = 0.46; β = 0.41; p < 0.001). These associations were absent in the white men. Despite lower mean SDMA and similar ADMA and cIMT in black men, percentage change in cIMT was independently associated with percentage change in ADMA and percentage change in SDMA. These results suggest an important role for ADMA and SDMA lowering strategies to delay carotid wall thickening, especially in black populations prone to the development of cardiovascular disease.
KeywordsAsymmetric dimethylarginine Symmetric dimethylarginine Carotid intima media thickness Carotid wall thickening Race
The Sympathetic activity and Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Africans (SABPA) study was possible due to the voluntary participation of the teachers and the Department of Education, North West Province, South Africa. The authors thank and acknowledge the technical assistance Mrs. Tina Scholtz, Sr. Chrissie Lessing and Dr. Szabolcs Péter. Research included in the present study was partially funded by the National Research Foundation (South Africa); the Medical Research Council (South Africa); Roche Diagnostics (South Africa); the North-West University (South Africa); and the Metabolic Syndrome Institute (France).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no financial or non-financial conflict of interest to declare.
Research involving human participants
The study was conducted in line with the ethical principles of the Declaration of Helsinki and was approved by the Health Research Ethics Committee of the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus).
Written informed consent was obtained from all participants before commencement of the study.
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