BACKGROUND: Increasing evidence suggests that L-homoarginine, an endogenous analogue of the amino acid L-arginine, may have beneficial effects on vascular homeostasis. We examined whether L-homoarginine is associated with 10-year risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in a black South African population.
METHODS: We included 669 black South African participants (mean age 59.5 years), 143 of whom died during the 10-year follow-up period. Mortality data were acquired via verbal autopsy. Plasma L-homoarginine (and other related markers) were analysed with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.
RESULTS: Survivors had higher L-homoarginine levels compared with nonsurvivors (1.25 µM vs. 0.89 µM; P < .001). Multivariable Cox regression analyses revealed that higher plasma L-homoarginine predicted a reduction in 10-year cardiovascular (hazard ratio [HR] per SD increment, 0.61; 95% CI 0.50 to 0.75) and all-cause (hazard ratio [HR] per SD increment, 0.59; 95% CI 0.41 to 0.84) mortality risk.
CONCLUSION: Higher L-homoarginine levels are associated with reduced risk of 10-year cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Regulation of L-homoarginine levels as a therapeutic target in the management of cardiovascular disease should be investigated.