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PAI-1 is the main inhibitor of fibrinolysis. Increase in PAI-1 levels has been associated with the risk of coronary disease; however, there are few studies on the relationship between subclinical atherosclerosis and PAI-1 levels. The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between PAI-1 level and carotid intima-media thickness in premenopausal and postmenopausal women without apparent cardiovascular disease. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 142 women aged 45 to 60 years with no history of cardiovascular disease. Anthropometric and laboratory measurements were performed, including PAI-1 levels. All participants underwent a B-Mode ultrasound to measure intima-media thickness. Subclinical atherosclerosis was considered when intima-media thickness was ≥ 0.7 mm and/or an atheromatous plaque was observed. Postmenopausal women had greater intima-media thickness than premenopausal women (0.688 ± 0.129 vs. 0.621 ± 0.113 mm; p < 0.05). Compared to women with normal intima-media thickness, women with subclinical atherosclerosis had higher PAI-1 levels (23.2 ± 13.7 vs. 30.4 ± 20.7 ng/ml; p < 0.05). In all participants, intima-media thickness correlated with PAI-1 (r = 0.302; p = 0.01) and with age (r = 0.358; p = 0001). An increase in intima-media thickness was observed in postmenopausal women compared with premenopausal women. Asymptomatic women with increased intima-media thickness had higher PAI-1 levels. These findings suggest that fibrinolytic activity is low in the subclinical stage of atherosclerosis.

Dra. Basurto Acevedo M.


Dra. Saucedo García R.