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Arq Bras Cardiol. 2009 Mar;92(3):186-192, 190-6.

Carotid artery structural and functional evaluation in relatives of type 2 diabetic patients.

[Article in English, Spanish]

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Hospital Universitário Antônio Pedro, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, RJ, Brasil.



In Western countries type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly from cardiovascular causes. Since a family history of diabetes, even in non-diabetic subjects, is regarded as an increased risk of coronary heart disease, the use of approved surrogate markers of early atherosclerosis, specially of ultrasonic measurements of the carotid arteries, is of vital importance.


To analyze the structural properties (intima-media thickness) and functional properties (distensibility measurement) of the carotid arteries in subjects with (FH+) a family history of type 2 diabetes, in comparison to subjects without (FH-) a family history of type 2 diabetes, both groups with no known cardiovascular risk factors.


32 individuals (male and female, age range, 21-47 years; 19 FH+, 13 FH-) had their right and left common and internal carotid arteries measured, using high-resolution B-mode ultrasonography. Both groups had similar (p>0.05) age, BMI, blood pressure, and fasting blood glucose and insulin, leptin, and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels.


The intima-media thickness (IMT) of the left common carotid artery (LCCA) in the FH+ group (0.568+/-0.107mm) was statistically greater (p=0.029) than in the FH- group (0.477+/-0.116mm). Multiple regression analysis identified age, overweight and obesity (determined by BMI), CRP, and LDL-cholesterol levels as independent predictors of the IMT in the LCCA.


FH+ individuals with no metabolic disorders presented greater IMT of the left common carotid artery (structural alteration) than FH- individuals, but normal vessel function.

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