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Disease Markers
Volume 35 (2013), Issue 2, Pages 85–96
Research Article

Markers of Increased Cardiovascular Risk in Postmenopausal Women: Focus on Oxidized-LDL and HDL Subpopulations

1Laboratory of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, IBILI, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
2ESAV and Educational Technologies and Health Study Centre, Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, 3504-510 Viseu, Portugal
3Service of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
4Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Porto, 4150-180 Porto, Portugal
5Research Centre for Health Sciences, Beira Interior University, 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
6Centre for Mathematics, University of Coimbra, 3001-454 Coimbra, Portugal

Received 14 February 2013; Accepted 8 May 2013

Academic Editor: Sudhir Srivastava

Copyright © 2013 Filipa Mascarenhas-Melo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To evaluate the effect of gender and menopause in cardiovascular risk (CVR) in a healthy population based on both classical and nontraditional markers. Methods. 56 men and 68 women (48 pre- and 20 postmenopause) were enrolled in the study. The following markers were analyzed: blood pressure (BP), body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), glucose, total cholesterol (total-c), triglycerides (TGs), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c), oxidized-LDL (Ox-LDL), HDL-c and subpopulations, paraoxonase-1 activity, hsCRP, uric acid, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), adiponectin, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and intercellular adhesion molecular 1 (ICAM1). Results. Relative to the women, men present significantly increased BMI, WC, BP, glucose, total-c, TGs, LDL-c, Ox-LDL, uric acid, and TNF-α and reduced adiponectin and total and large HDL-c. The protective profile of women is lost after menopause with a significantly increased BMI, WC, BP, glucose, LDL-c, Ox-LDL, hsCRP, and VEGF and decreased total and large HDL-c. Significant correlations were found in women population and in postmenopausal women between Ox-LDL and total, large, and small HDL-c and between TNF-α and total, large, and small HDL-c, LDL-c, and Ox-LDL. Conclusions. Men present higher CVR than women who lost protection after menopause, evidenced by nontraditional markers, including Ox-LDL and HDL subpopulations.