Background: Women are relatively protected from cardiovascular disease compared with men. Since morbid obesity is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the current study investigated whether the association between sex and cardiovascular risk factors and outcomes can be demonstrated in subjects suffering from morbid obesity. Materials and methods: Two hundred subjects enrolled in a study on cardiovascular risk factors in morbid obesity underwent extensive laboratory screening, carotid intima‐media thickness (cIMT) and pulse wave velocity (PWV) measurements. Gender differences were analysed using univariate and multivariable linear regression models. In addition, the effect of menopause on cIMT and PWV was analysed. Results of these models were reported as B coefficients with 95% confidence intervals. Results: The group consisted of 52 men and 148 women, with a mean age of 41 (±11.8) years and a mean body mass index (BMI) of 42.7 (±5.2) kg/m2 . Both, cIMT and PWV were significantly higher in men than in women, although the difference in cIMT disappeared after adjustment for covariables such as waist circumference, age, high‐density lipoprotein cholesterol and mean arterial pressure. PWV was associated with sex after adjustments for covariables in morbidly obese patients. Postmenopausal women had significantly increased cIMT and PWV when compared with premenopausal women. Conclusion: Sex differences in PWV persist in subjects suffering from morbid obesity. However, no difference was found in cIMT between morbidly obese men and women after adjustment for classic cardiovascular risk factors. Premenopausal morbidly obese women are protected for cardiovascular disease when compared with postmenopausal morbidly obese women.

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European Journal of Clinical Investigation
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

van Mil, S., Ulas Biter, L., van de Geijn, G.-J., Birnie, E., Dunkelgrun, M., IJzermans, J., … Castro Cabezas, M. (2019). The effect of sex and menopause on carotid intima-media thickness and pulse wave velocity in morbid obesity. European Journal of Clinical Investigation, 49(7). doi:10.1111/eci.13118