GSTM1 polymorphism in patients with clinical manifestations of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is characterized by lesions, called atheroma or atheromatous plaques, in the inner layer of blood vessels, which block the vascular lumen and weaken the underlying tunica media. Several modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for the development of atherosclerosis exist. The modifiable risk factors include hypertension, smoking, obesity, high LDL and low HDL cholesterol levels, sedentary lifestyle, and stress; the non-modifiable factors include diabetes mellitus, family history of hypertension and heart disease, thrombophilia, sex, age, and genetic factors. The association of polymorphisms in GST with coronary artery disease has been studied since the polymorphisms can affect enzyme activity and contribute to the onset of atherosclerosis. We analyzed polymorphisms in GSTM1 in individuals diagnosed with atherosclerosis as well as in healthy individuals (control group). The frequency of the GSTM1 present genotype in the atherosclerosis group was 1.2 times higher than that observed in the control group. We found no sex- or alcohol-consumption-dependent differences between the occurrences of the present and null genotypes. However, the GSTM1 present genotype occurred in 52.6% individuals with atherosclerosis who reported smoking 20 or more cigarettes per day and in 60% individuals who smoked 10 to 20 cigarettes per day (P = 0.0035). In addition, the GSTM1 present genotype was more frequent in individuals who reported being former smokers - 45.5% in individuals with atherosclerosis who smoked for more than 20 years and 50% each for individuals in the control group who smoked for less than 10 years or for 10 to 20 years, respectively (P = 0.0240).