SourceClinical Cardiology, 41, 5, (2018), pp. 698-704
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectRadboudumc 16: Vascular damage RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 6: Metabolic Disorders RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
Carotid artery intima-medial thickness (cIMT) represents a popular measure of atherosclerosis and is predictive of future cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events. Although older age is associated with a higher cIMT, little is known about whether this increase in cIMT follows a linear relationship with age or it is affected under influence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) or CVD risk factors. We hypothesize that the relationship between cIMT and age is nonlinear and is affected by CVD or risk factors. A systematic review of studies that examined cIMT in the general population and human populations free from CVD/risk factors was undertaken. The literature search was conducted in PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. Seventeen studies with 32 unique study populations, involving 10,124 healthy individuals free from CVD risk factors, were included. Furthermore, 58 studies with 115 unique study populations were included, involving 65,774 individuals from the general population (with and without CVD risk factors). A strong positive association was evident between age and cIMT in the healthy population, demonstrating a gradual, linear increase in cIMT that did not differ between age decades (r = 0.91, P < 0.001). Although populations with individuals with CVD demonstrated a higher cIMT compared to populations free of CVD, a linear relation between age and cIMT was also present in this population. Our data suggest that cIMT is strongly and linearly related to age. This linear relationship was not affected by CVD or risk factors.
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