Metabolic syndrome and early carotid atherosclerosis in the elderly

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Abstract

Aims: To investigate whether metabolic syndrome (MetS) can predict the new onset of carotid plaque or the progression of carotid intima-media thickness (C-IMT) and identify other associated factors in an elderly population without evidence of early carotid atherosclerosis. Methods: B-mode carotid ultrasonography was used to assess the presence of carotid plaque and the C-IMT at baseline and follow-up. Participants with carotid plaque or an increased C-IMT (≥1.0 mm) at baseline were excluded from the study. The new occurrence of carotid plaque, defined as early carotid atherosclerosis and the progression of C-IMT, was evaluated. Multiple regression analyses were used to determine predictors of these findings. Results: A total of 370 participants over 60 years of age (median age=66 years, 34.1% men) were enrolled. After a median follow-up period of 25 months, 64 participants (17.3%) had newly developed carotid plaque. After adjusting for variables determined to be statistically significant in univariate analyses, a multivariable regression analysis showed that predictors of newly developed carotid plaque were metabolic syndrome (hazard ratio [HR]=1.916; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.059- 3.466), white blood cell count (HR=1.313; 95% CI: 1.094-1.576) and vitamin B12 (HR=1.001; 95% CI: 1.000-1.002) and total cholesterol (HR=1.009; 95% CI: 1.001-1.017) levels. A multiple linear regression analysis showed that the rate of change for C-IMT tended to be associated with the development of metabolic syndrome. Conclusions: Metabolic syndrome is associated with the progression of early carotid atherosclerosis in the general population, suggesting that metabolic syndrome plays an important role in initiating the atherosclerotic process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-444
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Atherosclerotic plaque
  • Carotid arteries
  • Carotid intima-media thickness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Biochemistry, medical

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