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Sex-Based Differences in Cardiometabolic Biomarkers


It"s become clear that heart disease develops quite differently in women from men. These differences have largely been attributed to hormone differences between men and women," Dr. de Lemos adds. "But our study suggests that there are sex-based differences in many different biological pathways contributing to heart disease."

Reporting in Circulation, online February 2, Dr. de Lemos and colleagues analyzed data from the Dallas Heart Study, evaluating associations between gender and 30 biomarkers in various pathophysiologic categories.

The study included 3,439 individuals (mean age, 43; 56% women; 56% African American) without heart disease. After adjusting for age, race, CVD risk factors, kidney function, insulin resistance, body composition, fat distribution and left ventricular mass, significant gender differences were found in multiple categories, including lipids, adipokines and biomarkers of inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, myocyte stress and injury and kidney function.

Among the findings in adjusted models, women had higher levels of HDL-C and HDL particle concentration and lower levels LDL-C (p≤0.02 for each); higher levels of leptin (p<0.0001) and lower levels of adiponectin (p=0.04); higher levels of D-dimer and lower LP-PLA2 mass and activity (p