Abstract 1322: Sexual Dimorphism in the Relationship Between Homocysteine and Arterial Stiffness in Healthy Children
Background: Although an elevated homocysteine level is related to a higher risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease; a direct causal link is lacking. In healthy children, we evaluated the relationship between homocysteine levels and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV), a non-invasive index of arterial stiffness and marker of cardiovascular risk in the community.
Methods: In 573 healthy children (mean age 10.1 +/− 0.3 years; 51% boys), serum homocysteine level was measured by fluorescent polarization immunoassay. PWV was assessed noninvasively by applanation tonometry (Sphygmocor, AtCor Medical, Sydney, Australia). Pubertal development was determined by Tanner stage. Adiposity was assessed by percentage body fat (%BF) using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Insulin resistance was assessed by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR) using fasting insulin and glucose levels.
Results: Homocysteine was positively correlated with Tanner stage (rho=0.158, p=0.043), %BF (rho=0.146, p-=0.020) and PWV (rho=0.160, p=0.009) in girls but not boys. After adjustment for age, systolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, heart rate, HOMA-IR, % BF and Tanner stage, homocysteine was associated with PWV in girls (p=0.017) (Table⇓).
Conclusion: Homocysteine was positively related to arterial stiffness as assessed by PWV, although the relation was significant only in girls. The significance and mechanisms underlying the apparent sexual dimorphism in the relationship between homocysteine and PWV require further evaluation.