Accumulating evidence suggests that circulating amyloidβ 1-40 (Αβ1-40), a proatherogenic aging peptide, may serve as a novel biomarker in cardiovascular disease (CVD). We aimed to explore the role of plasma Αβ1-40 and its patterns of change over time in atherosclerosis progression in postmenopausal women, a population with substantial unrecognized CVD risk beyond traditional risk factors (TRFs).
In this prospective study, Αβ1-40 was measured in plasma by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and atherosclerosis was assessed using carotid high-resolution ultrasonography at baseline and after a median follow-up of 28.2 months in 152 postmenopausal women without history or symptoms of CVD.
At baseline, high Αβ1-40 was independently associated with higher carotid bulb intima-media thickness (cbIMT) and the sum of maximal wall thickness in all carotid sites (sumWT) ( < 0.05). Αβ1-40 levels increased over time and were associated with decreasing renal function ( < 0.05 for both). Women with a pattern of increasing or persistently high Αβ1-40 levels presented accelerated progression of cbIMT and maximum carotid wall thickness and sumWT ( < 0.05 for all) after adjustment for baseline Αβ1-40 levels, TRFs, and renal function.
In postmenopausal women, a pattern of increasing or persistently high Αβ1-40 was associated with the rate of progression of subclinical atherosclerosis irrespective of its baseline levels. These findings provide novel insights into a link between Αβ1-40 and atherosclerosis progression in menopause and warrant further research to clarify the clinical value of monitoring its circulating levels as an atherosclerosis biomarker in women without clinically overt CVD.
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