Sex-related differences in association of oxidative stress status with coronary artery disease

Oxidative stress status, a powerful predictor of coronary artery disease in women, has important implications for the differences between sexes in ischemic disease physiopathology.

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Cristina Vassalle, Ph.D., Rosalia Sciarrino, B.Sc., Sara Bianchi, B.Sc., Debora Battaglia, B.Sc., Antonella Mercuri, B.Sc., Silvia Maffei, M.D

Volume 97, Issue 2 , Pages 414-419.e2



To assess oxidative stress status in coronary artery disease (CAD) patients according to gender.


Case-controlled, observational, retrospective study.


Clinical and research center.


A total of 55 postmenopausal women and 108 men (mean age: 66 ± 9 years), including 72 patients with angiographically proven CAD (CAD(+), 19 women) and a group of 91 age-matched controls (CAD(−), 36 women).



Main Outcome Measure(s):

Oxidant/antioxidant balance as a global index (oxidative index) obtained using two commercial assays (d-ROMs and OXY Adsorbent Test, respectively) for estimation of levels of reactive oxygen metabolites and total antioxidant status.


There was a statistically significant difference in oxidative stress status between men and women who were CAD(−) (−0.424 ± 1.3 vs. 0.64 ± 1.1 arbitrary units, respectively), but the CAD(+) women had oxidative stress levels almost three times those of the CAD(+) men (2.45 ± 2.5 vs. 0.9 ± 1.6 arbitrary units, respectively). After adjustment in the multivariate model, age and oxidative stress status in women and diabetes and age in men remained as statistically significant predictors of positive CAD findings.


Oxidative stress status was a powerful predictor of CAD in women. This result may have important implications for the differences between sexes in CAD physiopathology.

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