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Atherosclerosis. 2011 Aug;217(2):441-6. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2011.05.022. Epub 2011 May 27.

Carotid artery intima-media thickness in college students: race/ethnicity matters.

Author information

  • 1University of Southern California, Dept of Preventive Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, United States. breton@usc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Racial/ethnic differences in common carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) and in risk factors associated with CIMT have been predominantly observed in middle-aged and older individuals. We aimed to characterize racial/ethnic differences CIMT and other cardiovascular risk factors in a healthy, young-adult population.

METHODS:

College students were recruited as part of a study to characterize determinants of atherogenesis. Students were eligible if they were lifetime non-smokers, lived in the United States since six months of age, and attended high school in the United States. Blood pressure, heart rate, height, and weight were measured, B-mode carotid ultrasound was performed, questionnaires were administered and a 12-h fasting blood sample was collected. Associations between CIMT and other variables were assessed in 768 students aged 18-25 years using linear regression analysis.

RESULTS:

In models adjusted for common cardiovascular risk factors, sex exhibited the strongest influence on CIMT, with men having 15.4 μm larger CIMT compared to women (95%CI 6.6, 24.2). Race/ethnicity was also strongly associated with CIMT. African Americans had 17.3 μm greater CIMT (95%CI -0.3, 34.8) compared to non Hispanic Whites, whereas Asians and Hispanic Whites had 14.3 (95%CI -24.3, -4.4) and 15.4 (95%CI -26.2, -4.7) μm smaller CIMT, respectively. BMI and systolic blood pressure were positively associated with CIMT.

CONCLUSION:

The risk factors associated with atherogenesis later in life are already present and observable in college-aged young adults, so targeted campaigns to reduce life-long cardiovascular disease burden should be initiated earlier in life to improve public health.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21679950
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3146627
Free PMC Article
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