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Diabetes Care. 2011 Mar;34(3):681-5. doi: 10.2337/dc10-2134. Epub 2011 Feb 2.

Impaired endothelial function in preadolescent children with type 1 diabetes.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri, USA.



We evaluated the prevalence of endothelial dysfunction as measured by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery and carotid intima-media thickness (c-IMT) in relationship to vascular inflammatory biomarkers in preadolescent children with type 1 diabetes.


We studied 21 type 1 diabetic children (aged 8.3 ± 0.3 years with diabetes duration of 4.3 ± 0.4 years) and 15 group-matched healthy siblings (aged 7.6 ± 0.3 years). Fasting plasma glucose (FPG), lipid profile, HbA(1c), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), fibrinogen, homocysteine, and erythrocyte (red blood cell [RBC]) folate were evaluated in all subjects. Each subject underwent c-IMT and brachial artery FMD percentage (FMD%) measurements using high-resolution vascular ultrasound.


Type 1 diabetic children had higher FPG (173.4 ± 7.9 mg/dL vs. 81.40 ± 1.7 mg/dL; P < 0.0001), HbA(1c) (8.0 ± 0.2% vs. 5.0 ± 0.1%; P < 0.0001), and hs-CRP (1.8 ± 0.3 vs. 0.70 ± 0.2; P = 0.017) than control children without significant differences in BMI, homocysteine, and fibrinogen levels; RBC folate content; and c-IMT between the groups. Children with type 1 diabetes had lower FMD% than control children (7.1 ± 0.8% vs. 9.8 ± 1.1%; P = 0.04), whereas c-IMT did not differ between groups.


Preadolescent children with type 1 diabetes and mean diabetes duration of 4 years displayed evidence of low-intensity vascular inflammation and attenuated FMD measurements. These data suggest that endothelial dysfunction and systemic inflammation, known harbingers of future cardiovascular risk, are present even in preadolescent children.

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