Pediatr Nephrol 2003 Oct 18;18(10):1020-4. Epub 2003 Jul 18.
Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.
To determine whether hypertension and overweight status are associated with increased carotid intimal-medial thickness (cIMT) in children, vascular ultrasonography was performed in newly diagnosed hypertensive patients ( n=53) and normotensive controls ( n=33). Hypertensive subjects were identified either by referral or by systematic school-based hypertension screening. Hypertension was defined as blood pressure above the 95th percentile based on current Task Force criteria, and overweight was defined as body mass index (BMI) >25 kg/m(2). cIMT was assessed by high-resolution vascular ultrasonography of the distal common carotid artery. Hypertensive subjects had a higher cIMT than normotensive subjects (0.62 vs. 0.53 mm, P<0.00001). This difference remained significant after controlling for the effects of gender, race, age, height, weight, and BMI. Similarly, overweight subjects had a higher cIMT than normal-weight subjects (0.63 vs. 0.54 mm, P<0.0001). Subjects with both systolic and diastolic hypertension had higher cIMT than those with isolated systolic hypertension (0.67 vs. 0.60, P<0.05). cIMT showed significant positive pairwise correlation with age, height, weight, BMI, and systolic blood pressure. Among all clinical variables analyzed, cIMT was most strongly correlated with BMI ( r=0.53, P<0.001). These results provide further evidence that vasculopathy occurs in association with known cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and obesity during childhood.