To comprehensively examine the associations of serum uric acid (SUA) with central and peripheral arterial stiffness in Chinese adults, and particularly assess the interactions between SUA and other cardiometabolic risk factors.
The study included 3,772 Chinese men and women with carotid radial pulse wave velocity (crPWV), carotid femoral PWV (cfPWV), carotid artery dorsalis pedis PWV (cdPWV) and SUA measured.
After adjustment for age, sex, and BMI, the levels of SUA were significantly associated with increasing trend of cfPWV, crPWV and cdPWV (P for trend <0.0001). Further adjustment for heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP) and lipids attenuated the associations with crPWV and cdPWV to be non-significant (P = 0.1, P = 0.099 respectively), but the association between SUV and cfPWV remained significant (P = 0.004). We found significant interactions between SUA and HR or BP in relation to cfPWV (P for interaction = 0.03, 0.003 respectively). The associations between SUA and cfPWV were more evident among individuals with higher HR or normal BP than those with lower HR or hypertension.
SUA was associated with elevated aortic arterial stiffness in Chinese adults, independent of conventional cardiovascular risk factors. BP and HR might modify the deleterious effects of SUA.
The adaption of elastic arteries to transient increase in hemodynamic load in normal pregnancy (NP) remains controversial. The purpose of this study was to investigate the NP carotid remodeling and regional arterial stiffness before and after parturition.
Fifty-one NP women and 30 age-matched non-pregnant women were included. All women underwent right common carotid artery (RCCA) measurements with MylabTwice ultrasound instrument (Esaote, Italy). Carotid intima-medial thickness (IMT), pulse wave velocity (PWV, m/s), distensibility coefficient (DC, 1/KPa), α, β, augmentation index (AIx, %) and carotid arterial pressure were obtained by the newly developed ultrasound vascular wall tracking methods: automatic QAS (Quality Arterial Stiffness) and QIMT (Quality Intima-Medial Thickness) Follow up study was performed.
Compared to the non-pregnant controls, the arterial pressures were significantly increased and RCCA diameter was significantly enlarged in late gestational NP women. Twenty months after parturition, carotid diameter, DC, AIx, PWV and arterial wall tension were significantly decreased and had no significant difference with those in non-pregnant controls.
Carotid arterial remodeling and stiffening could be seen in the normal pregnant women, which seems to be a physiological adaption and could be recovered post partum. QIMT and QAS together could provide a comprehensive assessment of the maternal carotid arterial changes during pregnancy.
Arterial stiffness; Intima-media thickness; Carotid artery; Normal pregnancy; Arterial remodeling
Serum uric acid (SUA) is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD). However it is still disputed whether the relationship is mediated by other risk factors such as obesity, dyslipidaemia, hypertension and insulin resistance. We explored the association of the uric acid level with carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), a well known marker of CVD, in postmenopausal healthy women.
We consecutively enrolled postmenopausal women undergoing a screening for health evaluation. After an accurate clinical examination, and a biochemical evaluation, the enrolled subjects underwent B mode ultrasonography to assess common carotid intima media thickness.
Among 234 women aged 45–70 years, the uric acid level is associated with carotid IMT independently of other prognostic factors (p=0.03). In particular, women in the highest tertiles of uric acid level have a greater IMT than women in the lowest tertile (p=0.007).
Independently of other cardiovascular risk factors, SUA levels are associated with carotid IMT even in subjects without the metabolic syndrome. This confirms and expands the role of uric acid in the determinism of CVD. Prospective trials would be useful to evaluate interventions aimed at lowering the uric acid level.
Carotid atherosclerosis; Serum uric acid; Postmenopausal women; Cardiovascular disease; Cerebrovascular disease
Background and Objectives
Associations have been reported between the serum uric acid (SUA) level, metabolic syndrome (MS), and atherosclerosis. We have determined the relationship between the SUA level, MS, and arterial stiffness in Korean.
Subjects and Methods
Cross-sectional data from 1,276 adults who underwent routine laboratory tests and pulse wave velocity (PWV) measurements during a health check-up were analyzed in a gender-specific manner. None of the participants had atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, diabetes, renal disease, or systemic disease, or were under treatment which would affect SUA levels, or taking medications for hypertension or dyslipidemia.
After adjustment for age, smoking status, total cholesterol (TC), and creatinine, the odds ratios (ORs, 95% confidence interval) of gender-specific quartiles of SUA for MS were 1.0, 1.28 (0.66-2.47), 1.46 (0.76-2.82), and 2.21 (1.15-4.26) in females, and 1.0, 1.33 (0.82-2.17), 1.60 (0.96-2.66), and 2.03 (1.21-3.40) in males. However, after adjustment for waist circumference, there were no significant differences in the ORs among the SUA quartile groups in females and males (both, p=NS). The Pearson's correlation coefficients for the relationship between SUA levels and heart-femoral (hf) PWVs or brachial-ankle (ba) PWVs were not significant in females and males (r=0.054 and r=0.015, respectively, in females; r=-0.036 and r=-0.015, respectively, in males; all, p=NS).
An elevated SUA level is associated with abdominal obesity among the MS components, but the SUA level is not associated with PWV in females or males.
Uric acid; Metabolic syndrome
Atherosclerosis and vascular stiffness have been implicated in the pathogenesis of age‐related macular degeneration (AMD). The association of carotid artery stiffness, a measure of arterial elasticity reflecting early atherosclerosis, with early AMD, was examined in this study.
A population‐based, cross‐sectional study of 9954 middle‐aged people (age range 51–72 years). The presence of AMD signs was determined from fundus photographs according to the Wisconsin grading protocol. Carotid arterial stiffness was measured from high‐resolution ultrasonic echo tracking of the left common carotid artery, and was defined as an adjusted arterial diameter change (AADCμ). A smaller AADC reflects greater carotid artery stiffness. The associations of pulse pressure and carotid artery intima–media thickness (IMT) with early AMD signs were also analysed.
In the study population, 454 (4.6%) had early AMD. The mean (SD) AADC was 403 (127) μ. After adjusting for age, sex, race/centre, education, cigarette smoking, fasting glucose, lipid profile and inflammatory markers, a smaller AADC was found to be not associated with early AMD (odds ratio 0.94; 95% confidence interval, 0.71 to 1.25) or its component lesions. Other measures of arterial stiffness (pulse pressure) and atherosclerosis (carotid IMT) were also not associated with early AMD.
Carotid artery stiffness was not associated with signs of early AMD in this middle‐aged population. These data provide no evidence of a link between age‐related elastoid changes and early atherosclerotic processes in the carotid arteries and early AMD.
Adults with Obesity (O) or Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM) are at higher risk for stroke and myocardial infarction. Increased carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) and stiffness are associated with these adverse outcomes. We compared carotid arteries in youth who were lean (L), O or T2DM.
Methods and Results
Carotid ultrasound for cIMT, Young’s Elastic Modulus (YEM) and Beta Stiffness Index (β), anthropometric, laboratory, and BP were measured in 182 L, 136 O, and 128 T2DM youth; 10-24 years. Mean differences were evaluated by ANOVA. Independent determinates of cIMT, YEM and β were determined with General Linear Models. CV risk factors worsened from L to O to T2DM. T2DM had greater cIMT than lean and O for the common carotid and bulb. For the internal, both O and T2DM were thicker than L. The carotid arteries were stiffer O & T2DM as compared to L. Determinates of cIMT were Group, Group*age interaction, gender, SBP for common (r2 =0.17); age, race, and SBP for bulb (r2 =0.16); age, race, gender, SBP and total cholesterol for the internal (r2 =0.21). Age, SBP and DBP were determinates of all measures of carotid stiffness with gender adding to YEM (r2=0.23); BMI z score, Group and Group*age interaction contributing to β (r2 =0.31, all p<0.0001).
Youth with Obesity and T2DM diabetes have abnormalities in carotid thickness and stiffness only partially explained by traditional CV risk factors. These vascular changes should alert health care practitioners to address CV risk factors early to prevent an increase in the incidence of stroke and myocardial infarction.
Carotid arteries; Elasticity; Obesity; Pediatrics; Risk factors
Behçet's disease (BD) is a systemic vasculitis involving diverse sizes of arteries and veins. We performed this study to evaluate the vascular changes by assessment of the arterial stiffness and intima-media thickness (IMT) of carotid artery in Korean patients with BD. Forty-one patients with BD and age-, and sex-matched 53 healthy subjects were recruited in this study. Carotid arterial stiffness and IMT were assessed by using high-resolution B-mode ultrasonography. Arterial stiffness parameters such as carotid arterial distensibility coefficient, stiffness index, and incremental elastic modulus (Einc) were significantly increased in BD patients compared with those in healthy subjects, but not in IMT. Positive relationship was noted between age and IMT, whereas age of onset was significantly associated with arterial stiffness in BD. This finding suggests impaired endothelial function before visible structural changes of arterial wall in BD. Age and age of onset may be an independent risk factor for carotid IMT and arterial stiffness, respectively. Further studies in more large populations are required to confirm our results.
Arterial Stiffness; Intima-media Thickness; Carotid Artery; Behçet's Disease
To examine the association of serum uric acid (SUA) with a marker of preclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD), carotid atherosclerotic plaques (PLQ), where early evidence of risk may be evident, focusing on individuals without CV risk factors.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study is a multicenter study designed to assess risk factors for heart disease. PLQ were assessed with carotid ultrasound. We conducted sex-specific logistic regression to assess the association of SUA with presence of PLQ, including analyses among persons without risk factors related to both CVD and hyperuricemia.
In total, 4866 participants had both SUA and carotid ultrasound assessed (54% women, mean age 52 yrs, mean body mass index 27.6). The association of SUA with PLQ increased with increasing SUA levels, demonstrating a dose-response relation for men [OR 1.0, 1.29, 1.61, 1.75, for SUA categories < 5 (reference), 5 to < 6, 6 to < 6.8, ≥ 6.8 mg/dl, respectively; p = 0.002]. Similar associations were found in men without CV risk factors. We found no relation of SUA with PLQ in women.
In this large study, SUA was associated with carotid atherosclerotic plaques in men. Results were similar in the absence of CV risk factors. These results suggest that SUA may have a pathophysiologic role in atherosclerosis in men. (J Rheumatol First Release Nov 15 2008; doi:10.3899/jrheum.080646)
URIC ACID; CAROTID ATHEROSCLEROSIS; RISK FACTORS; EPIDEMIOLOGY
We aimed to investigate whether elevated serum uric acid concentrations are associated with higher risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and carotid atherosclerosis in patients with type 2 diabetes.
We conducted a population-based cross-sectional survey in Shanghai, with a total of 395 men and 631 women age 41 to 92 years. The carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) and carotid atherosclerotic plaques (PLQ) were measured by B-mode ultrasound. MetS was defined according to the updated National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria for Asian Americans.
Uric acid levels were negatively associated with duration of diabetes, fasting plasma glucose, glycohemoglobin, eGFR, HDL-cholesterol (all P < 0.001) and positively with BMI, CRP, waist circumference, triglycerides, systolic blood pressure, ACR, HOMA-IR and IMT (all P < 0.05). In the highest quartile of uric acid levels, the risks were substantially higher for MetS [odds ratio 3.97, (95% confidence interval 2.58-6.13)] (P < 0.001 for trend) and PLQ [odds ratio 2.71 (95% confidence interval 1.62-4.47)] (p = 0.013 for trend) compared with that in the lowest quartile of uric acid levels after multiple adjustment. These associations remained significant after further adjustment for potential confounders.
Serum uric acid level is associated with MetS and is an independent risk factor for carotid atherosclerosis in patients with type 2 diabetes.
uric acid; metabolic syndrome; intima-media thickness; atherosclerosis
Fasting serum uric acid (SUA) was measured using a spectrophotometric method in 635 randomized male subjects aged 20 to 70, as part of an epidemiological study carried our among the civil employees of French origin working for the City of Montreal. It was observed that SUA was not age-dependent and that the overall mean value was 6.26 mg./100 ml. On the other hand SUA was studied in 742 males and 260 females, all of whom had had coronarography. A significant difference in SUA between males and females of 1.26 mg./100 ml. was noted. Correlating the SUA levels with the incidence of CHD or the severity of the lesions in the coronary arteries indicated no relationship between CHD and SUA concentrations in men or in women. The results of this study permit the conclusion that SUA is not a discriminator for CHD.
Serum uric acid (SUA) was measured in 512 men and 254 women from two English regions and in 337 men from one Scottish region. Mean SUA levels were the same in the men (5-5 mg/100 ml) and similar in the women (3-9 and 4-1 mg/100 ml). The apparent rarity of gout in Scotsmen cannot be explained by regional differences in SUA levels or in the prevalence of hyperuricaemia (defined as SUA of 7-0 mg/100 ml or over) which was present in 6-6% of the English men and 8% of the Scots. SUA was positively correlated with weight and serum urea, and with age in women, but no variation was found with social class. Body weight was the most important predictor of SUA in both men and women and superior to measurements involving correction for height, such as ponderal index and calculated lean body mass.
OBJECTIVE—To determine whether arterial wall hypertrophy in elastic arteries was associated with alteration in their mechanical properties in young patients with Williams syndrome.
METHODS—Arterial pressure and intima-media thickness, cross sectional compliance, distensibility, circumferential wall stress, and incremental elastic modulus of the common carotid artery were measured non-invasively in 21 Williams patients (mean (SD) age 8.5 (4) years) and 21 children of similar age.
RESULTS—Systolic and diastolic blood pressures were higher in Williams patients (125/66 v 113/60 mm Hg, p < 0.05). The mean (SD) intima-media thickness was increased in Williams patients, at 0.6 (0.07) v 0.5 (0.03) mm (p < 0.001). Normotensive Williams patients had a lower circumferential wall stress (2.1 (0.5) v 3.0 (0.7) mm Hg, p < 0.01), a higher distensibility (1.1 (0.3) v 0.8 (0.3) mm Hg−1.10−2, p < 0.01), similar cross sectional compliance (0.14 (0.04) v 0.15 (0.05) mm2.mm Hg−1, p > 0.05), and lower incremental elastic modulus (7.4 (2.0) v 14.0 (5.0) mm Hg.102; p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS—The compliance of the large elastic arteries is not modified in Williams syndrome, even though increased intima-media thickness and lower arterial stiffness are consistent features. Therefore systemic hypertension cannot be attributed to impaired compliance of the arterial tree in this condition.
Keywords: elastin; Williams syndrome; hypertension; compliance
Our aim was to analyze the relationship between abdominal obesity and general obesity, with subclinical atherosclerosis, arterial stiffness and wave reflection in healthy, diabetics and hypertensive subjects.
A cross-sectional descriptive study was made of 305 individuals (diabetics 32.8%, hypertensive subjects 37.0% and healthy individuals 30.2%). Measurements: Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), body fat percentage (BFP) and waist/height ratio (WHtR). Arterial stiffness was assessed according to pulse wave velocity (PWV), intima-media thickness of the common carotid artery (C-IMT), augmentation index (central and peripheral), ankle-brachial index (ABI), and central and peripheral pulse pressure.
WC and WHtR showed a positive correlation to PWV and C-IMT in the studied groups. After adjusting for age, gender, high sensitivity c-reactive protein, serum glucose and the presence of diabetes, hypertension, smoking, dyslipidemia, antidiabetic drugs, lipid-lowering drugs, and atherosclerotic plaques, it was seen that for every 0.1 point increase in WHtR, and for every cm increase in WC, the PWV increased 0.041 and 0.029 m/sec, and C-IMT increased 0.001 mm and 0.001 mm, respectively.
The measures of abdominal obesity (WHtR and WC) correlates better than BMI and BFP with arterial stiffness evaluated by PWV, and with subclinical atherosclerosis evaluated by C-IMT, independently of the presence of diabetes or hypertension.
Clinical Trials.gov Identifier: NCT01325064
The strength of each heart beat and the stiffness of large arteries contribute to blood pressure (BP). When the large arteries are stiff and their resistance greater, the afterload increases and this may change the function of the heart. However, the relation between common carotid artery stiffness and heart function in hypertensive patients has not been clarified.
Two hundred and twenty hypertensive patients underwent transthoracic and carotid echocardiography. Measurements of local arterial stiffness were taken at the right common carotid artery level and stiffness parameter (β), pressure-strain elasticity modulus and intima-media thickness were calculated. Brachial cuff BP was measured just before starting the carotid study. The patients with any cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, stroke, transient ischemic attack, or carotid stenosis were excluded.
Carotid artery stiffness parameter (β) was correlated with age and left ventricular mass index (p < 0.005). Even though β was not correlated with LV systolic function, it was inversely correlated with diastolic function as measured by early mitral annular velocity. When the artery was stiffer, early mitral annular velocity (e') decreased (p < 0.001) and the index of left atrial (LA) pressure (early diastolic mitral inflow E velocity/e') increased (p = 0.001). In logistic regression, diastolic dysfunction was affected by age (beta -0.385, p = 0.001), LA volume index (beta 0.175, p = 0.013) and β (beta -0.273, p = 0.019).
In hypertensive patients, changes in carotid artery stiffness can affect the diastolic function, independent of age and LA volume index. Therefore, measurements and control of carotid stiffness can play an important role in the prevention of diastolic heart failure.
Carotid stiffness; Diastolic function; Female
Many studies showed a moderate cholesterol-lowering effect of plant sterols (PS), but increased circulating PS might be atherogenic. We evaluated the associations between natural dietary intake of PS and carotid intima–media thickness (IMT) and serum lipids.
This community-based cross-sectional study included 1160 men and 2780 women aged 31–75 years. Dietary intakes were assessed using a food-frequency questionnaire. The IMTs at the common, bifurcation and internal carotid artery segments, and fasting serum total (TC), LDL (LDLc) and HDL (HDLc) cholesterol, and triglycerides (TG) were determined. After adjusting for potential covariates, multivariate analysis showed a dose-dependent inverse association of total PS intake with serum TC, LDLc, non-HDLc in women (P<0.001) and in men (P<0.05). As compared to the lowest quartile of PS intake (<206 mg/d), the multivariate-adjusted means of TC, LDLc and non-HDLc in the highest quartile of PS intake (447 mg/d) decreased by 5.0%, 6.2% and 6.5% in women (P<0.005), and by 6.4%, 7.1% and 6.7% (P>0.05) in men. Although the IMTs tended to be lower with greater intake of dietary PS, only small differences in the left internal IMT between the highest and lowest groups were observed among men (−7.6%) and women (−5.1%) (P<0.05). The multivariate analysis showed no significant mean differences among the PS groups in HDLc, TG and IMTs at other studied sites among men and women (all P>0.05).
Greater PS consumption from natural diets is associated with lower serum total, LDL, non-HDL cholesterol and with thinner left internal IMT in women and men.
Carotid intima-media thickness (C-IMT) measured noninvasively by ultrasonography is widely used as a marker for increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Also hyperuricemia (HU) is a well recognized risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. The study was designed to assess the relation between hyperuricemia and carotid intima-media thickness C-IMT in patients with and without hypertension (HTN).
This study included 126 patients divided into four groups: (1) Group A, included 59 hypertensive patients with hyperuricemia. (2) Group B, included 29 hypertensive patients without hyperuricemia. (3) Group C, included 17 patients with hyperuricemia and normal blood pressure without history of hypertension. (4) Group D, included 21 control subjects.
We measured carotid intima-media thickness by B-mode ultrasound in the common carotid and internal carotid artery. Routine echocardiography and uric acid level was assessed for all patients.
We found that C-IMT was significantly higher in group A, B and C than group D; and it was significantly higher in group A than B. This means that C-IMT is significantly higher in all hypertensive groups than control group but it was significantly higher in hypertensive hyperuricemia (group A) than those hypertensives without hyperuricemia. We also observed a higher C-IMT in hyperuricemic non hypertensive patients than control group this means that hyperuricemia per se could be a risk factor for atherosclerosis.
Uric acid levels among the whole number of patients included in the study and among the groups with hyperuricemia (group A and C) were positively correlated with the intimal-media thickness (IMT) while there were no correlations in the other two groups without hyperuricemia.
We found that left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) was significantly higher in hypertensive patients (group A&B) than normotensives (group C&D) either with or without hyperuricemia and this was evident in the hypertensive hyperuricemic patients (group A); but unexpectedly we observed the presence of LVH in the hyperuricemic non hypertensive patients (group C) which was significantly higher than the control group (group D). This means that hyperuricemia is a risk factor for development of LVH hypertrophy independently of hypertension.
Therefore, higher serum uric acid levels are associated with increased C-IMT and left ventricular hypertrophy in hypertensive and even non hypertensive patients. So, early screening for hyperuricemia and lowering serum uric acid levels might be beneficial in slowing progression of atherogenesis.
Hyperuricemia; Hypertension; Left ventricular hypertrophy; Caroid intima mediathickness
Epidemiologic studies of the association between alcohol consumption and carotid artery structure have reported conflicting results. We investigated the association between alcohol consumption and carotid atherosclerosis by evaluating the effects of alcohol intake on carotid artery enlargement.
The study population consisted of 4302 community-dwelling Koreans (1577 men and 2725 women) aged 50 years and over. All the subjects had participated in the baseline survey of the Dong-gu Study conducted between 2007 and 2008. Daily alcohol consumption was determined by the number and frequency of alcoholic beverages consumed. We measured common carotid artery intima-media thickness (CCA-IMT), common carotid and bulb IMT (CB-IMT), carotid plaques, and the diameter of the common carotid artery (CCA-diameter) using high-resolution B-mode ultrasonography. We used analysis of covariance and multiple logistic regressions to determine the relationship between alcohol consumption and carotid artery parameters.
CCA-IMT and CB-IMT were negatively correlated with alcohol consumption after controlling for cardiovascular risk factors in men (p for linear trend = 0.009 and = 0.038, respectively). The multivariate-adjusted odds ratio (OR) for carotid plaques was significantly higher in men who consumed >40.0 g/d (OR = 1.81, 95% CI = 1.13-2.91), although a significant positive correlation was observed between alcohol consumption and carotid plaques (p for linear trend = 0.027). Neither carotid IMT nor carotid plaques were correlated with alcohol intake in women. Alcohol intake was positively correlated with CCA-diameter adjusted for carotid IMT and plaques in the multivariate-adjusted model in both sexes (p for linear trend <0.001 for men and 0.020 for women).
The results of our study indicate that alcohol consumption is inversely related to carotid IMT and positively related to carotid plaques in men, but not women. However, alcohol intake is positively associated with CCA-diameter in both men and women. Additional large population-based prospective studies are needed to confirm the effects of alcohol consumption on carotid artery structure.
Background and Purpose
Atherosclerosis is a complex disorder with hereditary and environmental causes. Carotid artery intima-media wall thickness (IMT) is a useful measure of atherosclerosis. The objective of this study was to determine the association between carotid IMT and functional promoter variants of stromelysin-1 (MMP3: −1612 5A>6A), interleukin-6 (IL6: −174G>C), and hepatic lipase (HL: −480C>T) genes.
B-mode carotid ultrasound was performed among 87 subjects (mean age, 70 ± 12 years; 55% women; 60% Caribbean-Hispanic, 25% black, and 13% white) from the Northern Manhattan Prospective Cohort Study. Carotid IMT was calculated as a composite measure (mean of the maximum IMT in the bifurcation, the common carotid artery, and the internal carotid artery).
For all polymorphisms, genotype distribution was not significantly different from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The frequencies of the rare alleles were as follows: MMP3 −1612 5A>6A, 0.31 (95% CI, 0.25 to 0.39); IL6 −174 G>C, 0.20 (95% CI, 0.13 to 0.25); and HL −480 C>T, 0.45 (95% CI, 0.35 to 0.50). Carotid IMT in the sample was 0.78±0.18 mm. Subjects with the MMP3 genotype 6A6A had 8% greater mean carotid IMT than the other MMP3 genotypes combined (0.95±0.17 versus 0.87±0.15 mm; P=0.04). Subjects with the IL6 genotype GG had 11% greater IMT (0.85±0.17 versus 0.76±0.16 mm; P=0.03), and those with the HL genotype CC had 13% greater IMT (0.87±20 versus 0.76±0.18 mm; P=0.02) than the other genotypes combined. Adjustment for other risk factors did not change these associations.
Carotid IMT is higher among subjects homozygous for functional variants in genes related to matrix deposition (MMP3 −16126A), inflammation (IL6 −174G), and lipid metabolism (HL −480C). These associations were independent of race-ethnicity and some environmental exposures. Further studies are needed to confirm these genotype-phenotype associations.
genetics; interleukin-6; intima-media thickness; lipase; stromelysin 1; ultrasonography
Background and Purpose
We propose to study possible differences in the associations between risk factors for cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction and stroke) and Carotid Intima-Media thickness (IMT) measurements made at three different levels of the carotid bifurcation. Methods: Cross-sectional study of a cohort of Whites and African Americans of both genders with mean age 45 years. Traditional cardiovascular risk factors were determined in cohort members. Carotid IMT was measured from high-resolution B-mode ultrasound images at three levels: the common carotid artery (CCA), the carotid artery bulb (Bulb) and the internal carotid artery (ICA). Associations with risk factors were evaluated by multivariate linear regression analyses.
Of 3258 who underwent carotid IMT measurements, CCA, Bulb, and ICA IMT were measured at all three separate levels in 3023 (92.7%). A large proportion of the variability of CCA IMT was explained by cardiovascular risk factors (26.8%) but less so for the Bulb (11.2%) and ICA (8.0%). Carotid IMT was consistently associated with age, LDL-cholesterol, smoking and hypertension in all segments. Associations with fasting glucose and diastolic blood pressure were stronger for CCA than for the other segments. Hypertension, diabetes and current smoking had qualitatively stronger associations with Bulb IMT, and LDL cholesterol with ICA IMT. Conclusion: In our cohort of relatively young white and African-American men and women, a greater proportion of the variability in common carotid IMT can be explained by traditional cardiovascular risk factors than for the carotid artery bulb and internal carotid arteries.
Carotid Intimal Medial Thickness; Risk Factors; Carotid Ultrasound
The present study was designed to evaluate which arterial stiffness parameter - AASI or the home arterial stiffness index (HASI) - correlates best with vascular, cardiac and renal damage in hypertensive individuals.
A cross-sectional study was carried out involving 258 hypertensive patients. AASI and HASI were defined as the 1-regression slope of diastolic over systolic blood pressure readings obtained from 24-hour recordings and home blood pressure over 6 days. Renal damage was evaluated by glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and microalbuminuria; vascular damage by carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), pulse wave velocity (PWV) and ankle/brachial index (ABI); and left ventricular hypertrophy by the Cornell voltage-duration product (VDP) and the Novacode index.
AASI and HASI were not correlated with microalbuminuria, however AASI and HASI- blood pressure variability ratio (BPVR) showed negative correlation with GRF. The Cornell PDV was positively correlated with AASI- BPVR-Sleep (r = 0.15, p < 0.05) and the left ventricular mass index with HASI-BPVR (r = 0.19, p < 0.01). Carotid IMT and PWV were positively correlated with all the parameters except the HASI, while ABI was negatively correlated with AASI and Awake-AASI. After adjusting for age, gender and 24 hours heart rate, statistical significance remains of the IMT with AASI, Awake AASI and AASI-BPVR. PWV with the AASI, Awake-AASI and Sleep-AASI. ABI with AASI and Awake-AASI. Odd Ratio to presence target organ damage was for AASI: 10.47(IC95% 1.29 to 65.34), Awake-AASI: 8.85(IC95% 1.10 to 71.04), Sleep-AASI: 2.19(IC95% 1.10 to 4.38) and AASI-BPVR-night: 4.09 (IC95% 1.12 to 14.92).
After adjusting for age, gender and 24-hour heart, the variables that best associated with the variability of IMT, PWV and ABI were AASI and Awake-AASI, and with GFR was HASI-BPVR.
Ambulatory arterial stiffness index; home arterial stiffness index; ambulatory blood pressure monitoring; home blood pressure; target organ damage
The syndrome of vital exhaustion (VE), characterized by fatigue and irritability, may contribute to an increased risk of atherosclerosis. The aim of the study was to explore sex differences in the interactions of VE with endothelial dysfunction and VE with reduced carotid elasticity, the important contributors to the development of early atherosclerosis, on preclinical atherosclerosis.
The participants were 1002 women and 719 men aged 24-39 examined in the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns study. Vital exhaustion was measured using the Maastricht Questionnaire. Preclinical atherosclerosis was assessed by carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), endothelial function was measured by brachial flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), and arterial elasticity by carotid artery compliance (CAC) using ultrasound techniques.
We found a significant CAC x VE interaction for IMT only for the men. Our results imply that high VE level significantly related to high IMT levels among the men with low CAC, but not among the women with low CAC or among the women or men with high CAC. No significant FMD x VE interactions for IMT for the women or men were found.
High VE may exert an effect on IMT for men with impaired arterial elasticity. The results suggest that high vitally exhausted men with reduced arterial elasticity are at increased risk of atherosclerosis in early life and imply men's decreased stress coping in relation to stressful psychological coronary risk factors.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between resting baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) and carotid intima–media thickness (IMT), a putative marker of sub-clinical atherosclerosis. Participants were 64 men and 18 women (median age, 57 years; range, 40 to 70 years), who did not have a previous history of coronary artery disease or treatment for hypertension. Resting BRS was measured during a 9-min baseline period using the noninvasive sequence technique; carotid IMT was subsequently determined using ultrasonography. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed that greater IMT in the carotid bulb (an area with a high density of baroreceptors) was associated with reduced BRS. These findings remained after adjusting BRS for resting mean arterial pressure, age, body mass index, gender, and smoking history, R2 = 0.06, P = .03. In contrast, IMT in the common and internal carotid regions (areas with presumably lower baroreceptor densities) did not account for a significant proportion of the variance in BRS. These results suggest that subclinical atherosclerosis, specifically in a region with high baroreceptor density, is associated with a reduced sensitivity of the baroreflex.
Atherosclerosis; baroreflex sensitivity; blood pressure; carotid arteries; intima–media thickness
The goal of this study was to compare internal carotid artery (ICA) intima-media thickness (IMT) with common carotid artery (CCA) IMT as global markers of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Cross-sectional measurements of the mean CCA IMT and maximum ICA IMT were made on ultrasound images acquired from the Framingham Offspring cohort (n = 3316; mean age, 58 years; 52.7% women). Linear regression models were used to study the associations of the Framingham risk factors with CCA and ICA IMT. Multivariate logistic regression models and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis were used to compare the associations of prevalent CVD with CCA and ICA IMT and determine sensitivity and specificity.
The association between age and the mean CCA IMT corresponded to an increase of 0.007 mm/y; the increase was 0.037 mm/y for the ICA IMT. Framingham risk factors accounted for 28.6% and 27.5% of the variability in the CCA and ICA IMT, respectively. Age and gender contributed 23.5% to the variability of the CCA IMT and 22.5% to that of the ICA IMT, with the next most important factor being systolic blood pressure (1.9%) for the CCA IMT and smoking (1.6%) for the ICA IMT. The CCA IMT and ICA IMT were statistically significant predictors of prevalent CVD, with the ICA IMT having a larger area under the ROC curve (0.756 versus 0.695).
Associations of risk factors with CCA and ICA IMT are slightly different, and both are independently associated with prevalent CVD. Their value for predicting incident cardiovascular events needs to be compared in outcome studies.
atherosclerosis; carotid artery; disease prevalence; intima-media thickness; risk factors
Arterial diameter and intima-media thickness (IMT) enlargement may each be related to the atherosclerotic process. Their separate or combined enlargement may indicate different arterial phenotypes with different atherosclerosis risk.
We investigated cross-sectional (baseline 1987–89: n = 7956) and prospective (median follow-up = 5.9 years: n = 4845) associations between baseline right common carotid artery (RCCA) external diameter and IMT with existing and incident carotid atherosclerotic lesions detected by B-mode ultrasound in any right or left carotid segments. Logistic regression models (unadjusted, adjusted for IMT, or adjusted for IMT and risk factors) were used to relate baseline diameter to existing carotid lesions while comparably adjusted parametric survival models assessed baseline diameter associations with carotid atherosclerosis progression (incident carotid lesions). Four baseline arterial phenotypes were categorized as having 1) neither IMT nor diameter enlarged (reference), 2) isolated IMT thickening, 3) isolated diameter enlargement, and 4) enlargement of both IMT and diameter. The association between these phenotypes and progression to definitive carotid atherosclerotic lesions was assessed over the follow-up period.
Each standard deviation increment of baseline RCCA diameter was associated with increasing carotid lesion prevalence (unadjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.47–1.62) and with progression of carotid atherosclerosis (unadjusted hazards ratio (HR) = 1.37, 95% CI = 1.28–1.46); and the associations remained significant even after adjustment for IMT and risk factors (prevalence OR = 1.11, 95% CI = 1.04–1.18; progression HR = 1.11, 95% CI = 1.03–1.19). Controlling for gender, age and race, persons with both RCCA IMT and diameter in the upper 50th percentiles had the greatest risk of progressing to clearly defined carotid atherosclerotic lesions (all HR = 1.71, 95% CI = 1.47–2.0; men HR = 1.88, 95% CI = 1.48–2.39; women HR = 1.59, 95% CI = 1.31–1.95) while RCCA IMT or diameter alone in the upper 50th percentile produced significantly lower estimated risks.
RCCA IMT and external diameter provide partially overlapping information relating to carotid atherosclerotic lesions. More importantly, the RCCA phenotype of coexistent wall thickening with external diameter enlargement indicates higher atherosclerotic risk than isolated wall thickening or diameter enlargement.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the extent of early atherosclerotic changes of the carotid arteries in young patients with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) detected as increased intima-media thickness (IMT), and to determine the relations between IMT and some clinical and blood variables such as lipid and lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)) concentration and haemostatic factors. DESIGN: The IMT of the carotid bifurcation, the proximal 1 cm of the internal carotid artery, and the distal 1 cm of the common carotid artery was determined in all subjects using B mode ultrasonography. Blood lipids, fasting glucose, and several haemostatic variables were also analysed. SUBJECTS: 28 patients with FH (12 males and 16 females aged 11 to 27 years, one homozygote, 27 heterozygotes) and 28 sex and age matched normolipidaemic healthy subjects. RESULTS: The mean carotid IMT (the average of six measurements of the maximum far wall IMT in the three carotid segments on each side) was significantly greater in patients with FH than in controls (mean (SD) 0.71 (0.15) v 0.49 (0.08) mm, P < 0.001). In all subjects, the mean IMT was significantly correlated with total cholesterol (r = 0.59), low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (r = 0.60), triglycerides (r = 0.27), and systolic blood pressure (r = 0.47). No correlation was found between the mean IMT and Lp(a), fibrinogen, tissue plasminogen activator, and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of young patients with FH have a greater intima-media thickness of the carotid arteries than healthy subjects. Since the individual susceptibility of patients with FH to increased LDL cholesterol is different, B mode ultrasonography could provide a useful tool to identify those who are more likely to develop premature atherosclerotic disease.