Lack of evidence for progression of atherosclerosis during puberty in type 1 diabetes

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Children with type 1 diabetes have early changes in vascular structure with increased aortic intima–media thickness (aIMT) or carotid IMT (cIMT). aIMT may be an earlier, more sensitive marker; however, longitudinal data in type 1 diabetes are lacking. This study will aim to evaluate changes in vascular structure (aIMT and cIMT) over 2 yr during puberty in children with type 1 diabetes and compare them with those in healthy children.

Research design and methods:

A total of 110 children (aged 10–18 yr, 55 males) participated in a prospective cohort study, including 77 children with type 1 diabetes and 33 age- and sex-matched healthy children. Ultrasound assessments of aIMT and cIMT; and clinical and biochemical data were collected at baseline and 2 yr later.


Mean and maximal aIMT or cIMT did not worsen over time in children with type 1 diabetes compared with healthy children. Longer duration of diabetes related to an increase in aIMT. Improvement in HDL cholesterol and leptin related to a decrease in aIMT. Higher baseline IMT related to an improvement in IMT in children with type 1 diabetes (mean and maximal aIMT: β = −0.52, p < 0.001; β = −0.49, p = 0.001, and mean and maximal cIMT: β = −0.36, p = 0.003; β = −0.40, p = 0.001), independent of cardiovascular risk factors.


Aortic and carotid IMT does not deteriorate during puberty in children with type 1 diabetes. This has implications for the design of interventional studies in this important age group.

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