Systemic oxidative stress is increased in postmenopausal women and independently associates with homocysteine levels

Arno R. Bourgonje, Amaal Eman Abdulle, Areej M. Al-Rawas, Muna Al-Maqbali, Mohsin Al-Saleh, Marvin B. Enriquez, Sultan Al-Siyabi, Khamis Al-Hashmi, Intisar Al-Lawati, Marian L.C. Bulthuis, Douwe J. Mulder, Sanne J. Gordijn, Harry van Goor*, Jumana Saleh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Oxidative stress plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Postmenopausal women have an increased risk of developing CVD due to decreased estrogen availability, which is accompanied by increased oxidative stress. Serum free thiols (R-SH) provide a robust and powerful read-out of systemic oxidative stress. In this study, we aimed to establish serum levels of free thiols and explore associations between free thiols and demographic, clinical, and biochemical parameters related to obesity and the risk for developing CVD in both pre-and postmenopausal women. Serum free thiols were measured in a cohort consisting of healthy pre-(n = 223) and postmenopausal (n = 118) Omani women. Postmenopausal women had significantly lower levels of serum free thiols as compared to premenopausal women (762.9 ± 85.3 vs. 780 ± 80.9 µM, age-adjusted p < 0.001). Women s age was positively associated with serum free thiol levels in premenopausal women (β = 0.36, p = 0.002), whereas an inverse association was observed in postmenopausal women (β = −0.29, p = 0.002). Homocysteine levels were significantly inversely associated with serum free thiol levels in both pre-(β = −0.19, p = 0.005) and postmenopausal (β = −0.20, p = 0.032) women, independent from known cardiovascular risk factors. In this study, we show that postmenopausal women are affected by increased systemic oxidative stress, which independently associates with homocysteine levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number314
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Free thiols
  • Homocysteine
  • Menopause
  • Obesity
  • Oxidative stress
  • Postmenopausal women
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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