Cardiovascular risk factors for early carotid atherosclerosis in the general population: the Edinburgh Artery Study.
ABSTRACT Recent attempts to identify cardiovascular risk factors affecting early-stage carotid atherosclerosis, measured by ultrasonographically assessed intima-media thickness, have been inconclusive.
To study the relationship between traditional cardiovascular risk factors and intima-media thickness.
Ultrasonic evaluation of the intima-media thickness of the common carotid artery was included in the 5-year follow-up examination of participants of the Edinburgh Artery Study. We had valid readings of intima-media thickness for 1106 men and women aged 60-80 years. Information on a range of cardiovascular risk factors had been collected during the baseline examination.
For men, in addition to age, lifetime smoking (measured in terms of pack years) was the only cardiovascular risk factor associated with increased intima-media thickness (P< or = 0.01) in the univariate analysis. Both systolic blood pressure (P < or = 0.001) and the high-density lipoprotein (HDL: total cholesterol ratio (P < or = 0.01) were correlated with intima-media thickness for women. When all the variables had been included in a multivariate analysis, pack years of smoking and the HDL:total cholesterol ratio were associated with early atherosclerotic development in men. In an equivalent analysis for women, alcohol consumption, systolic blood pressure and the HDL:total cholesterol ratio were associated with intima-media thickness.
These data suggest that risk factors affecting intima-media thickness differ for men and women. Further sex-specific analyses of prospective population studies are required in order to clarify the role of 'traditional' cardiovascular risk factors in the early stages of carotid atherosclerosis.
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ABSTRACT: Fabry disease is considered primarily as a progressive small vessel disease, with ischaemic degenerative lesions involving the kidneys, brain and heart. Macrovascular involvement in male patients includes an accelerated wall hypertrophy of the radial artery and a thickening of the intima-media of the common carotid artery. The aim of this study is to evaluate the prevalence and severity of carotid artery atherosclerosis in hemizygous and heterozygous patients with Fabry disease, compared with a matched control population. The common carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) of 53 patients with Fabry disease (24 men, 29 women) was measured by high-definition ultrasonography, and the presence or absence of atherosclerotic plaques reported. Results were compared with those of 120 age-matched healthy individuals (83 men, 37 women). The common carotid artery IMT was increased to the same extent in male and female patients with Fabry disease (706+/-211 microm and 749+/-395 microm, respectively) compared with that of the control population (614+/-113 microm). In the Fabry population, IMT did not correlate with either systolic blood pressure or with renal function (plasma creatinine). In the control population, only systolic blood pressure was positively and significantly correlated with IMT. Atherosclerotic plaques in the common carotid artery were not observed in any patient with Fabry disease, whereas 34% of the control population had carotid artery plaques, as evidenced by focal non-homogeneous intima-media thickening greater than 1.2 mm. This study presents evidence of a major increase in common carotid artery IMT, both in hemizygous and heterozygous patients with Fabry disease, in the absence of focal atherosclerotic plaques. These results suggest that the conduit arteries may be protected from atherosclerosis in Fabry disease.Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway: 1992). Supplement 05/2006; 95(451):63-8.
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ABSTRACT: The well established correlation between intima-media thickness (IMT) and the risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events and death is usually measured in subjects with multiple vascular risk factors, which makes it difficult, after application of the usual analysis-of-variance linear combination of effects model, to establish whether each cardiovascular risk factor has, per se, an effect on IMT. In this study we investigated five "pure" groups of patients (865), i.e. each presenting only one of the following risk factors: hypertension, obesity, overweight, smoking, hypercholesterolaemia and a control group of 37 healthy subjects. We measured, both as discrete and as continuous variables, the following indices: intima-media thickening of the common carotid artery (IMT(C)) and of the common femoral artery (IMT(F)) and the ankle-brachial index (ABI). Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the prevalence of pathological values for the three indices in the different groups. Subsequently the entire group of 902 subjects was included in a correlation analysis in which the Pearson correlation coefficient for each pair of variables was computed. In order to assign the risk factors a continuous ranking, and obtain a more general idea of the correlation structure, principal component analysis (PCA) was used. The scores obtained from PCA made it possible to build a scale of severity of the vascular risk factors considered. All the risk factors considered were demonstrated to strongly affect the studied indices. Overweight was shown to be the least important risk factor with regard to intima-media thickening, followed by smoking, hypercholesterolaemia, hypertension and finally obesity, which emerged as the greatest risk factor. The strong correlation between the indices made it possible to compute a composite general score, which provides an univocal risk estimation at single-patient level. IMT(F) was demonstrated to be the most sensitive descriptor. The construction of this risk scale has implications for preventive treatment and the frequency of instrumental examinations, allowing clear quantitative definition of the extent of the damage.Atherosclerosis 02/2011; 216(1):109-14. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To determine the effect of age and atherosclerotic risk factors on the carotid intima-media layer thickness and morphology characteristics. Three groups of subjects were included in the study: Individuals with atherosclerotic risk factors including a family history of CHD, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and/or smoking (group A, n=180), age- and sex-matched healthy subjects without risk factors (group B, n=60) and a group of significantly younger volunteers (group C, n=25). The carotid artery was imaged longitudinally with B-mode ultrasound. Intima media thickness (IMT) was measured in the common (CCA) and internal carotid (ICA) arteries. Surface irregularity and continuity of the intima-media layer (IML) were assessed by high definition imaging. Echogenicity of the wall was quantified using Adobe Photoshop. The presence of calcium deposits was recorded. The double line wall pattern seen in young healthy people was used as a control to assess patterns and texture of the carotid IML. Fifteen subjects had their measurements repeated for intraobserver variability. IMT measurements were reproducible in both the CCA and ICA (coefficient of variation 6% and 9%). IMT increased linearly with age (adjusted R(2)=0.72, p<0.0001), which was also an independent risk factor for increased IMT. All the risk factors had a significant association with increased IMT. In the lowest (third) decade the wall/blood interface was smooth and the double line was visualized with an echolucent center. With increased age and number of risk factors present, the wall/blood interface became more irregular (p<0.01), the double line was distorted (p<0.01) and the IML was more echogenic (p<0.01). The increase in IMT and the changes in the echogenicity of the IML were more pronounced in the ICA. Age is an independent risk factor for increased IMT. Atherosclerotic risk factors are associated with the age-related changes seen in the IML. Such changes are also seen in younger asymptomatic volunteers with risk factors indicating that their arteries are older than their age.European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 01/2006; 30(6):588-96. · 2.82 Impact Factor