Systemic Oxidative Stress Is Increased in Postmenopausal Women and Independently Associates with Homocysteine Levels

Oxidative stress plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Postmenopausal women have an increased risk of developing CVD due to decreased estrogen availability, which is accompanied by increased oxidative stress. Serum free thiols (R-SH) provide a robust and powerful read-out of systemic oxidative stress. In this study, we aimed to establish serum levels of free thiols and explore associations between free thiols and demographic, clinical, and biochemical parameters related to obesity and the risk for developing CVD in both pre- and postmenopausal women. Serum free thiols were measured in a cohort consisting of healthy pre- (n = 223) and postmenopausal (n = 118) Omani women. Postmenopausal women had significantly lower levels of serum free thiols as compared to premenopausal women (762.9 ± 85.3 vs. 780 ± 80.9 μM, age-adjusted p < 0.001). Women′s age was positively associated with serum free thiol levels in premenopausal women (β = 0.36, p = 0.002), whereas an inverse association was observed in postmenopausal women (β = −0.29, p = 0.002). Homocysteine levels were significantly inversely associated with serum free thiol levels in both pre- (β = −0.19, p = 0.005) and postmenopausal (β = −0.20, p = 0.032) women, independent from known cardiovascular risk factors. In this study, we show that postmenopausal women are affected by increased systemic oxidative stress, which independently associates with homocysteine levels.
Prof. Jumana Saleh

Biochemistry Department
College of Medicine
Sultan Qaboos University


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