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Mels, Catharina M. C.; Schutte, A. E.; Huisman, H. W.; Smith, W.; Kruger, R.; Rooyen, J. M. van; Schwedhelm, E.; Atzler, D.; Böger, R. H.; Malan, N. T.; Malan, L. (2017): Asymmetric dimethylarginine and symmetric dimethylarginine prospectively relates to carotid wall thickening in black men: the SABPA study. In: Amino Acids, Vol. 49, No. 11: pp. 1843-1853
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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;beta = 0.46;p < 0.001) and percentage change in SDMA (R (2) = 0.46;beta = 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.