Relationship between obesity, smoking, and the endogenous nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, asymmetric dimethylarginine.

Center for Clinical Research, Ullevaal University Hospital, NO-0407 Oslo, Norway.
Metabolism (Impact Factor: 3.61). 12/2004; 53(12):1574-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.metabol.2004.06.026
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We investigated the levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), an important endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide (NO), as related to metabolic risk factors known to contribute to atherosclerotic disease. Dimethylarginines were analysed in a cross-sectional study of 563 elderly high-risk men (70 +/- 6 years). ADMA and the l-arginine/ADMA (l-arg/ADMA) ratio were highly significantly correlated with several metabolic risk factors. However, only the association with body mass index (BMI) remained significant after adjustment for inter-related variables. When analyzing the results according to being overweight or not, ADMA levels were independently significantly higher (P = .05) and the L-arg/ADMA ratios were significantly lower (P < .008) in individuals with high BMI (> or =26 kg/m(2), median value) as compared with subjects with low BMI. ADMA levels were furthermore significantly lower (P = .037) and L-arginine and the l-arg/ADMA ratios were significantly higher (P = .004 and P = .001, respectively) in smokers compared with nonsmokers, the latter being independent of other risk factors. The strong relationship found between BMI and plasma levels of ADMA and the l-arg/ADMA ratio indicate a link to endothelial dysfunction in overweight subjects. The beneficial dimethylarginine profile observed in smokers in this elderly population is not easily explainable and should be further investigated.

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