Background: Measures of carotid intima media thickness (cIMT) in adults are correlated with adiposity and the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and predict cardiovascular (CV) events. Relations in children are not as well studied. Our objective was to determine the relations of cIMT with body mass index (BMI) and CV risk score in children. Methods: The study included 291 children (158 M/133 F) 6-18 years of age (140 aged 6-11/151 aged 12-18) with measurements of height, weight, waist circumference; fasting lipids, glucose, insulin, and cIMT. A CV risk cluster score was developed from sum of the z-scores of the five MetS components (waist circumference, blood pressure, serum triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and insulin). Partial Pearson correlation coefficients were adjusted for age, sex, and race. Results: There was no significant age difference in cIMT from 6 to 18 years of age. BMI and CV risk score were significantly correlated (P < 0.0001), and both were correlated with cIMT (r = 0.14, P = 0.02 and r = 0.16, P = 0.006, respectively). Slight age-related differences in associations of cIMT with CV risk score and BMI were explained by unusual values in a few children. Conclusions: These cross-sectional data in normal children show that cIMT was stable from childhood into adolescence. However, both BMI and CV risk score had small, but significant positive correlations with cIMT. Therefore, maintaining normal levels of adiposity and other risk variables may be useful in preventing early changes associated with preclinical atherosclerosis.
- cardiovascular risk