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Adiposity predicts carotid intima-media thickness in healthy children and adolescents

OBJECTIVE:To examine whether anthropometric measurements, blood pressure (BP), fasting total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein are related to ultrasound measures of carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) in children and teenagers with no known risk factors for cardiovascular disease.STUDY DESIGN:This cross-sectional study included 599 subjects, 6 to 20 years of age (292 males, 307 females; 224 Hispanics, 210 European-Americans, 126 African-Americans, and 39 Asian-Americans) whose body mass index, waist circumference, BP, lipid profiles, and values for CIMT were determined.RESULTS:Measures of CIMT were significantly greater in males than females (P=.006) and in African-Americans when compared with other ethnic groups (all P < .05). There were no relations between age, diastolic BP, or fasting levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein values and CIMT measures, regardless of sex or ethnic background. Stratified multiple regression analysis indicated that body mass index and waist circumference independently predicted CIMT in both males and females, even after controlling for age, weight, BP, fasting lipid levels, and ethnic background.CONCLUSION:Increased body mass and adiposity are associated with increased intima-media thickness in children and teenagers. This association is present in children not considered overweight, underscoring the need for the continued promotion of adequate nutritional and physical exercise behavior during childhood.

Authors: Mittelman SD; Gilsanz P; Mo AO; Wood J; Dorey F; Gilsanz V

​J Pediatr. 2010 Apr;156(4):592-7.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.10.014. Epub 2009 Dec 14.

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