European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 164, Issue 6, pp 337–344

Arterial intima-media thickening and endothelial dysfunction in obese Chinese children

  • Weihua Zhu
  • Xianmei Huang
  • Jin He
  • Mengxia Li
  • Henning Neubauer
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00431-005-1642-y

Cite this article as:
Zhu, W., Huang, X., He, J. et al. Eur J Pediatr (2005) 164: 337. doi:10.1007/s00431-005-1642-y


We studied ultrasonographic signs of early atherosclerosis in relation to established risk factors of cardiovascular disease in 43 obese school-age children compared to 28 non-obese controls. The groups did not show significant differences in age, gender ratio and body height. Mean carotid intima-media-thickness (IMT), carotid haemodynamic parameters, flow-mediated dilatation of the brachial artery (FMD), and biochemical markers of dyslipidaemia were measured and correlated. IMT was significantly increased (0.62 mm vs. 0.46 mm, P <0.001) and FMD was markedly reduced (10.9% vs. 18.8%, P <0.001) in the obesity group. Differences in IMT and FMD persisted after adjustment for Body Mass Index (BMI) and blood pressure on ANCOVA. BMI was highly associated with increased IMT ( r =0.58, P <0.01) and reduced FMD ( r =-0.42, P <0.01), as were blood levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and Apo B. Conclusion:Childhood obesity seems to contribute to the development and progression of early atherosclerosis, particularly in combination with hypertension and dyslipidaemia. In order to prevent coronary atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular complications, it is vital to control obesity starting from childhood. Ultrasonography of the arterial wall may be used in a clinical setting to identify high-risk patients among severely obese children.


Atherosclerosis Childhood Endothelial dysfunction Intima-media thickness Obesity 



body mass index


common carotid artery


diastolic blood pressure


familial hypercholesterolaemia


flow-mediated dilatation


internal carotid artery


intima-media thickness


systolic blood pressure


total cholesterol


total triglycerides

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Weihua Zhu
    • 1
  • Xianmei Huang
    • 1
  • Jin He
    • 2
  • Mengxia Li
    • 1
  • Henning Neubauer
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of CardiologyChildren’s Hospital, Zhejiang University School of MedicineHangzhou China
  2. 2.Department of UltrasonographyChildren’s Hospital, Zhejiang University School of MedicineHangzhou China
  3. 3.Hangzhou China

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