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Increased age, high body mass index and low HDL-C levels are related to an echolucent carotid intima-media: the METEOR study
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Cardiovascular epidemiology.
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2012 (English)In: Journal of Internal Medicine, ISSN 0954-6820, E-ISSN 1365-2796, Vol. 272, no 3, 257-266 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction. Echolucent plaques are related to a higher cardiovascular risk. Studies to investigate the relationship between echolucency and cardiovascular risk in the early stages of atherosclerosis are limited. We studied the relationship between cardiovascular risk factors and echolucency of the carotid intimamedia in low-risk individuals.

Methods. Data were analysed from the Measuring Effects on Intima-Media Thickness: an Evaluation of Rosuvastatin (METEOR) study, a randomized placebo-controlled trial including 984 individuals which showed that rosuvastatin attenuated the rate of change of carotid intimamedia thickness (CIMT). In this post hoc analysis, duplicate baseline ultrasound images from the far wall of the left and right common carotid arteries were used for the evaluation of the echolucency of the carotid intimamedia, measured by grey-scale median (GSM) on a scale of 0256. Low GSM values reflect echolucent, whereas high values reflect echogenic structures. The relationship between baseline GSM and cardiovascular risk factors was evaluated using linear regression models.

Results. Mean baseline GSM (+/- SD) was 84 +/- 29. Lower GSM of the carotid intimamedia was associated with older age, high body mass index (BMI) and low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) [beta -4.49, 95% confidence interval (CI) -6.50 to -2.49; beta -4.51, 95% CI -6.43 to -2.60; beta 2.45, 95% CI 0.47 to 4.42, respectively]. Common CIMT was inversely related to GSM of the carotid intimamedia (beta -3.94, 95% CI -1.98 to -5.89).

Conclusion. Older age, high BMI and low levels of HDL-C are related to echolucency of the carotid intimamedia. Hence, echolucency of the carotid intimamedia may be used as a marker of cardiovascular risk profile to provide more information than thickness alone.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 272, no 3, 257-266 p.
Keyword [en]
atherosclerosis, carotid intima-media thickness, carotid ultrasound, echolucency, risk factors
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-182012DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2011.02505.xISI: 000307958000006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-182012DiVA: diva2:559198
Available from: 2012-10-08 Created: 2012-10-02 Last updated: 2012-10-08Bibliographically approved

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