Gender-related differences in the relationship between plasma homocysteine, anthropometric and conventional biochemical coronary heart disease risk factors in middle-aged Indians.Ann Nutr Metab. 2009; 54(1):1-6.AN
Gender-related differences in anthropometric measures [body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC)] and other coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors have been reported in other ethnics. However, information available on middle aged healthy Indians are scanty. The aim of our present study is to determine plasma total homocysteine (tHcy), anthropometric measures (BMI and WC) and conventional biochemical CHD risk factors, and to examine their relationship in healthy middle-aged men and women.
Fifty-two middle aged (40-59 years) apparently healthy volunteers (29 men and 23 women) were recruited from the staff of the National Institute of Nutrition at Hyderabad. Subjects were screened for plasma tHcy concentrations, lipid profile and blood pressure. Anthropometric Indices (BMI, WC) were measured as per standard protocols. Data on education, income, diet (vegetarians vs. omnivores) and lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and exercise were recorded.
At similar age and BMI, men had higher WCs (mean +/- SD, 91.2 +/- 5.44 vs. 78.9 +/- 7.62 cm, p < 0.001) than women. Plasma tHcy concentrations (17.9 +/- 9.88 vs. 8.2 +/- 1.90 micromol/l, p < 0.001) were also higher in men than in women. Among men, vegetarian men had significantly higher plasma tHcy than omnivorous men (median 22.80 vs. 9.85 micromol/l, p < 0.05). Plasma tHcy concentrations were comparable between vegetarian and omnivorous women. Of known conventional CHD risk factors, blood pressure, total cholesterol and triglycerides were also significantly (p < 0.05) higher in men than in women. A significant positive correlation was found between plasma tHcy and WC in men only (r = 0.484, p < 0.01). In women, in turn, plasma tHcy was positively correlated with low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (r = 0.567, p < 0.01).
This study on apparently healthy Indians confirms the known associations between gender and conventional CHD risk factors, while diet (vegetarian vs. omnivorous) had no influence on CHD risk factors with the exception of tHcy in men.