Carotid wall intima-media thickness (IMT) has been recognized as a surrogate measure of atherosclerosis. This study investigated the associations between cardiovascular risk factors and carotid IMT at three different segments of the carotid artery in young individuals.Design and method:
Apparently healthy adolescents and young adults (age 12–26 years) referred for elevated blood pressure and healthy volunteers were subjected to: (i) 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) monitoring, (ii) assessment of blood lipid and glucose profile, and (iii) IMT measurement (high resolution B-mode ultrasonography) at the level of common carotid, bulb and internal carotid bilaterally.Results:
Data from 79 subjects were analyzed (mean age 18.5 ± 4.8 [SD] years, 61 males, body mass index [BMI] 24.5 ± 5.5 kg/m2, 24 volunteers, 19 with elevated 24-hour ABP [>=95th percentile for adolescents or >=130/80 mmHg for adults]). Bivariate associations between carotid IMT and cardiovascular risk factors are shown in Table. In multivariate regression analyses, common carotid IMT was determined (R2 = 0.31) by 24-hour weighted SD of systolic ABP and male gender, bulb IMT (R2 = 0.52) by LDL-cholesterol and male gender, and internal carotid IMT (R2 = 0.15) by waist circumference.Conclusions:
These data suggest that in adolescents and young adults common carotid IMT best reflects the burden of high blood pressure variability, whereas bulb and internal carotid IMT are mainly determined by lipids and central obesity respectively.