Ideal Cardiovascular Health and Subclinical Markers of Carotid Structure and Function: The Paris Prospective Study III

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We hypothesized that subclinical markers of vascular structure and function, which are independent predictors of cardiovascular disease, would be less frequent in subjects with ideal than poor cardiovascular health (CVH) as defined by the American Heart Association (AHA).

Approach and Results—

Carotid parameters were measured using high-precision echotracking device in 9155 nonreferred participants attending a health checkup in a large health center in Paris (France) between 2008 and 2012. According to the AHA, participants with 0 to 2, 3 to 4, and 5 to 7 metrics (smoking, physical activity, body mass index, diet, blood glucose and total cholesterol, blood pressure) at the ideal level were categorized as having poor, intermediate, and ideal CVH. Carotid parameters were dichotomized according to their median value, and multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed. Mean age was 59.5 (SD 6.3) years; 39% were females, and ideal CVH was present in 10.11% of the study participants. After adjustment for age, sex, education, and living alone and compared with a poor CVH, an ideal CVH was associated with lower common carotid artery intima–media thickness (odds ratio=1.64; 95% confidence interval 1.40, 1.93), absence of carotid plaques (odds ratio=2.14; 95% confidence interval 1.60, 2.87), lower Young’s elastic modulus (odds ratio=2.43; 95% confidence interval 2.07, 2.84), and higher carotid distensibility coefficient (odds ratio=2.90; 95% confidence interval 2.47, 3.41).


In community subjects aged 50 to 75 years, ideal CVH was associated with substantially less arterial stiffness and thickness. These associations might contribute to the lower risk of cardiovascular diseases in subjects with ideal CVH.

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