Assessment of Subclinical Atherosclerosis by Carotid Intima-Media Thickness and Epicardial Adipose Tissue Thickness in Prediabetes

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Impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and impaired glucose intolerance (IGT) are predictors of cardiovascular disease (CVD). We tested the hypothesis that epicardial fat thickness (EFT) and carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), as markers of early atherosclerosis, are increased in patients with prediabetes. We prospectively enrolled 246 patients (162 with prediabetes and 84 controls). Prediabetes was defined according to American Diabetes Association criteria, and patients were divided into 3 groups: group 1—IFG, group 2—IGT, and group 3—IFG + IGT. Both cIMT and EFT were significantly greater in patients with prediabetes compared with controls (0.81 ± 0.20 mm vs 0.68 ± 0.16 mm, P < .001 and 7.0 ± 2.0 mm vs 5.6 ± 1.6 mm, P < .001, respectively). This difference was mainly attributed to patients with IGT. Age, waist circumference, and 2-hour glucose independently predicted cIMT, while 2-hour glucose was the only independent predictor of EFT in multivariate analysis among other relevant parameters for cIMT and EFT. The cIMT and EFT (measured noninvasively) could be useful indicators of CVD risk in these patients. In order to prove this hypothesis, long-term prospective studies with greater patient numbers are required.

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