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Stroke. 2007 Mar;38(3):900-5. Epub 2007 Feb 1.

Predictors of carotid intima-media thickness progression in young adults: the Bogalusa Heart Study.

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  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, WI 53792, USA.



We sought to evaluate the predictors of carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) progression in young adults and to determine whether they differed between the sexes. Although risk factors for the progression of atherosclerosis in middle-aged and elderly adults are well known, they are less well understood in young adults. CIMT is a validated measure of subclinical atherosclerosis.


B-mode ultrasound images of the far walls of both carotid arteries were obtained in 336 young adults in the Bogalusa Heart Study, whose mean+/-SD age was 32.3+/-3.0 years. CIMT and risk factors were measured at baseline (1995-1996) and after 5.8+/-0.6 years. Multivariable regression was used to determine the predictors of CIMT progression.


CIMT progression rates in women (0.015+/-0.024 mm/y) and men (0.020+/-0.027 mm/y) were not statistically different after controlling for body mass index (P=0.155). Smoking was a statistically significant predictor of common and composite CIMT progression in both sexes. In men, systolic blood pressure was an independent predictor of internal carotid and composite CIMT progression, fasting glucose predicted common CIMT progression, and family history predicted composite CIMT progression.


In young adults, smoking was a consistent predictor of short-term CIMT progression in men and women. Traditional risk factors also predicted CIMT progression in men.

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