Increased Rate of Arterial Stiffening with Obesity in Adolescents: A Five-Year Follow-Up Study

Frida Dangardt, Yun Chen, Krister Berggren, Walter Osika, Peter Friberg
PLoS ONE2013
BACKGROUND: We prospectively and longitudinally determined the effects of childhood obesity on arterial stiffening and vascular wall changes. Changes in arterial stiffness measured as pulse wave velocity (PWV) and vascular morphology of the radial (RA) and dorsal pedal arteries (DPA) were examined in obese adolescents compared to lean subjects in a 5-year follow-up study.\n\nMETHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A total of 28 obese subjects and 14 lean controls participated in both baseline (14 years old) and follow-up studies. PWV was measured by tonometer (SphygmoCor®) and recorded at RA and carotid artery, respectively. Intima thickness (IT), intima-media thickness (IMT) and RA and DPA diameters were measured using high-resolution ultrasound (Vevo 770™). Over the course of 5 years, PWV increased by 25% in the obese subjects as compared to 3% in the controls (p = 0.01). Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) increased by 23% in the obese subjects as opposed to 6% in controls (p = 0.009). BMI increased similarly in both groups, as did the IT and IMT. The change in PWV was strongly associated to the baseline BMI z -score (r = 0.51, p<0.001), as was the change in DBP (r = 0.50, p = 0.001).\n\nCONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: During the transition from early to late adolescence, there was a general increase in arterial stiffness, which was aggravated by childhood obesity. The increase in arterial stiffness and DBP after 5 years was closely correlated to the baseline BMI z -score, indicating that childhood obesity has an adverse impact on vascular adaptation.

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