Arterial Thickness and Stiffness Are Independently Associated with Left Ventricular Strain

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The aim of this study was to examine the association between myocardial strain and arterial thickness and stiffness in young adults. Increased common carotid artery intima media thickness and peripheral arterial stiffness are known to precede coronary artery disease and cardiovascular (CV) events such as myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure. However, subclinical cardiac dysfunction can be detected in high-risk adults by myocardial strain echocardiography. The authors hypothesized that increased carotid artery intima media thickness would be associated with abnormal myocardial strain in young subjects who had obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus.


CV risk factors were collected in 338 young adults participating in a prospective, cross-sectional study. The CV parameters collected included intima-media thickness, peripheral arterial stiffness by brachial distensibility, and myocardial strain and strain rate. General linear models were constructed to determine if vascular structure and function measures were independently associated with myocardial strain and strain rate.


A linear relationship was found between global longitudinal strain obtained from the four-chamber view and global strain rate in systole and carotid intima-media thickness (four-chamber global longitudinal strain: β = 3.0, CV risk factor–adjusted R2 = 0.34; global strain rate in systole: β = 0.0053, R2 = 0.21; P ≤ .0001) and between four-chamber global longitudinal strain and lower brachial distensibility (β = −0.42, R2 = 0.22; P < .001).


Adverse changes in vascular structure and function are simultaneously present with reduced myocardial systolic function.

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