Clinical usefulness of metabolic risk factors to identify young asymptomatic women adults with subclinical atherosclerosis: A cross-sectional study

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Interventions of cardiovascular disease should be implemented in early ages. But most studies were performed in middle aged or elderly adults because of the low prevalence in young, especially for women. We investigate the association between metabolic risk factors and subclinical atherosclerosis in young asymptomatic women adults, using carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) as a marker of the atherosclerotic process.

We performed a cross-sectional study of 950 Chinese young asymptomatic women adults (37.28 ± 5.16 years) who underwent a routine health screening examination. Triglycerides (TG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), total cholesterol (TC), fasting blood glucose (FBG), homocysteine (HCY), gamma glutamyltransferase (GGT), uric acid, and CIMT were measured.

Out of 950 subjects, 16 (1.7%) were detected with increased CIMT. Significant differences existed in the indicators including age, body mass index (BMI), TC, TG, LDL-C, LDL-C/HDL-C, non-HDL-C, and TC/HDL-C. Although TG, LDL-C, non-HDL-C, TC/HDL-C, and TG/HDL-C were the significant indicators when adjusted for age only, age, LDL-C/HDL-C, FBG, and GGT were the only independent relative indicators of increased CMIT that entered the multivariate model. The area under receiver operating characteristic curve for a linear combination of age, LDL-C/HDL-C, FBG, and GGT was 0.809 (95% confidence interval = 0.712–0.906), superior to any of the variables taken alone (age, AUC = 0.707; FBG, AUC = 0.710; LDL-C/HDL-C, AUC = 0.695; GGT, AUC = 0.648).

The combined assessment of age, LDL-C/HDL-C, FBG, and GGT contributes to an early detection for subclinical atherosclerosis, providing guidance to clinicians for women's early interventions of latent cardiovascular disease. Neither of the above four individual indicators is qualified alone.

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