Objectives: To test whether parathyroid hormone (PTH) might be related to the development of atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women, we measured serum levels of PTH, the carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), and other clinical and biochemical parameters. Methods: One hundred and seven postmenopausal women were recruited for this study. The serum level of PTH was measured by immunoradiometric assay, and carotid IMT was measured with high resolution B-mode ultrasonography. Results: On the basis of bivariate correlation analyses or unpaired t-tests, the body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, estimated glomerular filtration rate, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D were not associated with carotid IMT. In contrast, age (r = 0.414, p < 0.001), serum level of PTH (r = 0.304, p = 0.001), hypertension (p < 0.001), and hypercholesterolaemia (p = 0.004) were related to carotid IMT. On the basis of multiple regression analysis, the serum level of PTH (β = 0.198, p = 0.029), as well as age (β = 0.309, p = 0.001) and hypertension (β = 0.262, p = 0.006), were independent predictors of carotid IMT. Conclusions: Our results have demonstrated that serum PTH is an independent determinant of carotid IMT in postmenopausal women. This result suggests that serum PTH, even in the reference range, might be associated with the development of atherosclerosis or cardiovascular diseases in postmenopausal women. Further study is necessary in males and premenopausal women to fully elucidate the clinical significance of this finding.
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