European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 169, Issue 6, pp 695–703

Arterial distensibility is reduced in overweight pre- and early pubescent children

  • Alayna M. Banach
  • Jose Peralta-Huertas
  • Kristina Livingstone
  • Nicholas Petrella
  • Panagiota Klentrou
  • Brent Faught
  • Terrance Wade
  • Deborah O’Leary
Original Paper


The objective of this study was to examine the differences in arterial distensibility between overweight/obese and normal weight pre- and early pubescent boys and girls. Arterial distensibility was measured in 65 children (43 normal weight and 22 overweight/obese) between the ages of 9 and 12 years. Weight classification was based on age and sex-specific body mass index (BMI) cut-offs and pubertal maturation by Tanner staging. Distensibility was determined using B-Mode echo-Doppler ultrasound to measure changes in the right common carotid artery (CCA) diameter, while carotid pulse pressure was measured at the left CCA by applanation tonometry. Accounting for age and sex (ANCOVA), CCA distensibility showed a significant difference (P < 0.05) between normal weight (0.79 ± 0.21) and overweight children (0.61 ± 0.21 mmHg−1 × 10−2). Univariate analysis revealed that CCA distensibility was related to BMI, systolic blood pressure, brachial pulse pressure, and relative oxygen uptake (VO2peak, milliliter per kilogram per minute). Multivariate analysis revealed that, when adjusting for brachial pulse pressure and relative VO2peak, differences in CCA distensibility by BMI were no longer significant. This study demonstrates that attenuated arterial distensibility exists in overweight pre- and early pubescent children. As well, this study highlights the influential role of blood pressure and aerobic fitness on arterial distensibility.


Arterial distensibility Blood pressure Children Overweight VO2peak 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alayna M. Banach
    • 1
  • Jose Peralta-Huertas
    • 1
  • Kristina Livingstone
    • 1
  • Nicholas Petrella
    • 1
  • Panagiota Klentrou
    • 1
  • Brent Faught
    • 1
  • Terrance Wade
    • 1
  • Deborah O’Leary
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Applied Health SciencesBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada
  2. 2.Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Applied Health SciencesBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada

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