Objective Circulating levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), an endogenous nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, are increased in diabetes mellitus (DM). This study was to assess the relationship between plasma ADMA level and carotid atherosclerosis in patients with type 2 DM.
Methods A total of 72 newly diagnosed and untreated type 2 DM individuals without manifest cardiovascular disease and 72 healthy controls were studied. Carotid atherosclerosis was determined by ultrasonographically evaluated intima-media thickness (IMT) and plaque score in all subjects. Plasma concentration of ADMA was measured by high-performance liquid chromatography.
Results Fasting blood glucose, haemoglobin A1c, insulin, triglyceride, and ADMA levels, and mean IMT, plaque score were higher in diabetic patients compared with the controls. Univariate and multivariate analyses demonstrated an independent association between ADMA and mean IMT in diabetic patients. On a multiple logistic regression analysis, ADMA was the sole predictor of carotid plaque formation (plaque score ≥1.1) (OR 2.43, 95% CI 1.19 to 4.94, p<0.05).
Conclusion Our results suggest that increased levels of ADMA are involved in the development of carotid atherosclerosis in type 2 DM.