Asymmetric dimethylarginine is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease: results from the multicenter Coronary Artery Risk Determination investigating the Influence of ADMA Concentration (CARDIAC) study

Am Heart J. 2006 Sep;152(3):493.e1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2006.06.005.


Background: Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) plasma levels have been shown to be elevated in diseases related to endothelial dysfunction such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, and others. It has been shown that ADMA predicts cardiovascular mortality in patients who have coronary heart disease (CHD). However, the question whether ADMA is an independent risk factor for CHD still remains unresolved.

Methods: The CARDIAC study is a multicenter case-control study, designed to detect differences in ADMA plasma levels between patients with CHD and controls from the general population. We included in our analysis 131 cases and 131 controls, matched for age, sex, and body mass index.

Results: We found that cases had higher ADMA plasma levels than controls (0.70 micromol/L [0.59-0.87 micromol/L] vs 0.60 micromol/L [0.54-0.69 micromol/L], P < .001). To evaluate the predictive power of ADMA regarding CHD, we calculated 2 multivariate logistic regression models including laboratory parameters and traditional risk factors. The odds ratio for ADMA in the multivariate model including the laboratory characteristics was 2.59 (1.61-4.17; P < .001); the odds ratio for the multivariate model including other risk factors was 6.04 (2.56-14.25; P < .001) for the third tertile (>0.72 micromol/L) versus the first (<0.58 micromol/L).

Conclusions: We conclude from the results of our study that ADMA is an independent risk factor for CHD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arginine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Arginine / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Coronary Disease / blood*
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors


  • N,N-dimethylarginine
  • Arginine