Sexual dimorphism in ratio of second and fourth digits and its relationship with metabolic syndrome indices and cardiovascular risk factors

Bolaji Fatai Oyeyemi, Oluyinka Ajibola Iyiola, Adekunle Wahab Oyeyemi, Kokori Audu Oricha, Abbas Toba Anifowoshe, Nanfizat Abiket Alamukii


Background: Ratio of second and fourth digit (2D:4D) is known to be germane in analyzing utero concentrations of testosterone and estrogen in human and other vertebrates. 2D:4D had been linked several traits like athletes’ abilities, reproductive success, risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a clustering of several cardiovascular risk factors. Waist circumference (WC), neck circumference (NC), body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) are important in measuring MetS. This study investigated sexual dimorphism in 2D:4D and its relationship with MetS indices and CVD factors among adult residing in Ilorin, North central Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional, stratified multi-staged sampling study. Participants residing in different neighborhoods were visited at home where finger lengths and anthropometric traits were measured.Participants include 801 healthy adults aged 18-44 years (56% male) who had been living in the area for more than 3 years. Results: Males showed significantly lower 2D:4D than females (unpaired t-test; t [699] = 11.49, P = 0.001). A significant positive correlation was observed in MetS markers and 2D:4D. WHtR showed the highest correlation with 2D:4D in male (r = 0.461, P ≤ 0.001) and female (r = 0.408, P ≤ 0.001) when compared with BMI, NC and WC. All positive correlations recorded in this study were high in male and right hand. Conclusion: Our results showed that 2D:4D is sexual dimorphic and right hand 2D:4D as a predictor of MetS is better. We concluded that 2D:4D is a proxy for MetS and CVD risk factors in Ilorin.

Key words: Cardiovascular disease, digit ratio, metabolic syndrome, sexual dimorphism

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