Blood glutathione and Subclinical Atherosclerosis in African Men : the SABPA Study
Van Rooyen, Johannes
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Sub-Saharan Africans face an increasing burden of hypertension and related cardiac and cerebrovascular morbidity and mortality, making the identification of factors leading to early vascular abnormalities imperative. METHODS We investigated the possible influence of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) on early subclinical atherosclerosis in 63 hypertensive (aged 45.2 years) and 34 normotensive (aged 38.9 years; P < 0.001) nondiabetic African men. We measured ambulatory daytime systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP, DBP) as well as daytime mean arterial pressure (MAP), carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), and calculated the cross-sectional wall area.We determined the reduced form of GSH in whole blood and blood glucose in serum. RESULTS Blood glucose (110 vs. 92 mg/dl; P < 0.001) and CIMT (0.75 vs. 0.61 mm; P < 0.001) were higher in hypertensives compared to normotensives. No significant difference existed for GSH. Associations in normotensives suggested the hypotensive effect of GSH after single (SBP: r = ―0.35,P ≤ 0.05; DBP: r=-0.37, P ≤ 0.05; MAP: r=-0.38, P ≤ 0.05) and multiple (SBP: B = ―0.015, P < 0.05; DBP: B = ―0.011, P < 0.05; MAP: B = ―0.012, P < 0.05) regression analyses. In hypertensives, CIMT (B = ―0.00027, P < 0.01) and cross-sectional wall area (CSWA) (B = ―0.0066, P < 0.05) correlated negatively with GSH.These findings were consistent after excluding 10 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive hypertensive subjects. CONCLUSIONS In hypertensive African men, CIMT is negatively associated with GSH, suggesting a possible contributory role of attenuated GSH levels in the development of subclinical atherosclerosis.