Internal Medicine
Online ISSN : 1349-7235
Print ISSN : 0918-2918
ISSN-L : 0918-2918
Association between Risk Factors and Carotid Enlargement
Ryuichi KawamotoHitomi TomitaYuichiro OkaNobuyuki Ohtsuka
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2006 Volume 45 Issue 8 Pages 503-509


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of conventional cardiovascular risk factors on the degree of adaptive response of the carotid arterial wall to atherosclerotic disease.
Patients and Methods: We evaluated the diameter and intima-media thickness (IMT) of common carotid artery (CCA) by ultrasonography in 351 men aged 70.3 (range, 14-97) years and 474 women aged 75.6 (range, 19-103) years in the medical department of Seiyo Municipal Nomura Hospital. We assessed cross-sectionally the relationships between CCA diameter and IMT and cardiovascular risk factors by gender.
Results: In multiple linear regression analyses, after controlling for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, a significant correlation was found between CCA diameters and age (p=0.034), body mass index (BMI) (p<0.001), smoking status (p=0.039), alcohol consumption (<0.001) and uric acid (UA) (p=0.021) in men, and between CCA diameters and age (<0.001), BMI (p<0.001), systolic blood pressure (SBP) (p=0.013) and antihypertensive drug use (p=0.005) in women. Analysis of covariance showed that the two regression lines between carotid IMT and diameter in those with or without plaque were significantly different in both men (F=16.4; p<0.001) and women (F=15.0; p<0.001). After adjustment for carotid IMT and plaque, associations with carotid diameters still persisted for age (p<0.001), BMI (p<0.001), smoking status (p=0.006), alcohol consumption (p<0.001) and SBP (p=0.001) in men, and age (p=0.005), BMI (p<0.001), SBP (p=0.047) and UA (p=0.001) in women.
Conclusion: This study shows that the CCA diameters correlated with conventional cardiovascular risk factors including alcohol consumption. These findings suggest that the CCA diameters may reflect the ability of adaptive remodeling to the atherosclerosis before plaque formation and can be an important factor during the development of atherosclerosis.

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© 2006 by The Japanese Society of Internal Medicine
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