Carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) has been shown to be increased in children and adolescents with traditional cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease, compared with those of healthy children.
To assess the influence of sex, age and body mass index (BMI) on the CIMT in healthy children and adolescents aged 1 to 15 years.
A total of 280 healthy children and adolescents (males, n=175; mean age, 7.49±3.57 years; mean BMI, 17.94±4.1 kg/m2) were screened for CIMT assessment. They were divided into 3 groups according to age: GI, 1 to 5 years [n=93 (33.2%); males, 57; mean BMI, 16±3 kg/m2]; GII, 6 to 10 years [n=127 (45.4%); males, 78; mean BMI, 17.9±3.7 kg/m2], and GIII, 11 to 15 years [n=60 (21.4%); males, 40; mean BMI, 20.9±4.5 kg/m2].
There was no significant difference in CIMT values between male and female children and adolescents (0.43±0.06 mm vs. 0.42±0.05 mm, respectively; p=0.243). CIMT correlated with BMI neither in the total population nor in the 3 age groups according to Pearson correlation coefficient. Subjects aged 11 to 15 years had the highest CIMT values (GI vs. GII, p=0.615; GI vs. GIII, p=0.02; GII vs. GIII, p=0.004).
CIMT is constant in healthy children younger than 10 years, regardless of sex or BMI. CIMT increases after the age of 10 years.