Emerging risk factors as markers for carotid intima media thickness scores.
AIMS: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the number one cause of mortality in the Western world. This study aims to determine which lifestyle factors are associated with mean carotid intima media thickness (IMT), a safe and reliable predictor of future CVD risk. METHODS AND RESULTS: A prospective cross-sectional analysis of 592 subjects. Measures were made of body composition, anthropometric measures, fitness, diet (measured with a 3-day food diary), laboratory results, and mean carotid IMT. Multivariate analyses show that higher mean IMT values are associated with increasing age (p < 0.0001), male gender (p = 0.0002), higher systolic blood pressure (BP; p = 0.0008), higher body mass index (BMI; p = 0.0005), and lower intake of zinc (p = 0.0001). Bivariate analyses controlling for age and gender, with and without statin use, showed that higher mean IMT scores were statistically associated with higher diastolic BP (p = 0.007), higher total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein (HDL) ratio (p < 0.0001), higher triglyceride/HDL ratio (p = 0.0001), lower aerobic capacity measures (p = 0.0007), higher body fat percentage and waist circumference (p < 0.0001), higher fasting glucose level (p = 0.028), and lower intake of magnesium (p = 0.019), fish (p = 0.007), and fiber (p = 0.02). Other factors that were not associated with mean IMT include total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP); intake of saturated fat, potassium, calcium, sodium, or vitamin K; percentage of calories from protein, fat, or carbohydrate; measures of strength (assessed with push-up and sit-up testing); and reported exercise. CONCLUSIONS: Aerobic fitness and dietary intake of fiber, fish, magnesium, and zinc are inversely associated with carotid IMT scores. Of the traditional CVD risk factors, only systolic BP, fasting glucose, body composition, and total cholesterol/HDL ratio have a direct relationship with mean carotid IMT.
Masley, SC; Roetzheim, R; Masley, LV; McNamara, T; Schocken, DD
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