Carotid Intima-Media Thickness and Metabolic Syndrome Components in Obese Children and Adolescents
Obesity in children and adolescents contributes to increased prevalence of metabolic and hemodynamic complications, which may impair endothelial function and structure. A high resolution B-mode ultrasound measurement of intima-media thickness (IMT) is a useful tool to assess early, preclinical stage of atherosclerosis. The objective of this study was to evaluate the carotid artery IMT in obese children and its association with insulin resistance and other traditional metabolic syndrome components. The study entailed 80 obese children, aged 5.3–17.9 year and a control group of 31 children. Obesity was defined using the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) criteria. Metabolic syndrome was defined using the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria of 2007. Each patient’s anthropometric measurements, blood parameters, and the carotid IMT were evaluated. Insulin resistance indices were calculated. We found that children with metabolic syndrome had a significantly increased IMT compared to children who did not meet the syndrome criteria (0.62 ± 0.09 mm vs. 0.55 ± 0.18 mm, p = 0.03) and compared to control group (0.62 ± 0.09 vs. 0.52 ± 0.14, p = 0.02). In a multivariable linear regression analysis, IMT correlated with systolic blood pressure (p = 0.005). The results did not show an association between IMT and insulin resistance. We conclude that abdominal obesity and the accompanying components of metabolic syndrome lead to increased carotid IMT. The enhanced systolic blood pressure plays a major role in changing the carotid IMT.
KeywordsBlood pressure Carotid artery Intima–media thickness Metabolic syndrome Obesity
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest in relation to this article.
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