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Assessment of the carotid artery intima-media complex through ultrasonography and the relationship with Pathobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth

  • Thacira D. A. Ramos (a1), Tatianne M. E. Dantas (a1), Mônica O. S. Simões (a1), Danielle F. Carvalho (a1) and Carla C. M. Medeiros (a1)...



To evaluate the presence of carotid thickening and its relationship with the Pathobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth score.


We carried out a cross-sectional study involving 512 brazilian adolescents. Variables such as sex, body mass index, concentrations of non-high-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose and glycated haemoglobin A1c levels that make up the score, and carotid thickening through the intima-media complex measured by ultrasound were evaluated. We adopted two cut-off points to evaluate carotid thickening, being considered altered for those higher or equal to the z-score 2+ and ⩾75th percentile. The association was assessed using the χ2 test and univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses.


High cardiovascular risk was present in 10.2% of the adolescents; carotid thickness was present in 4.3% determined by the z-score 2+ and in 25.0% determined by the 75th percentile. When measured by the z-score, carotid thickening was associated with high systolic blood pressure (p=0.024), high-non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol (p=0.039), and high cardiovascular risk assessed by the score and by the 75th percentile, with body mass index >30 (p=0.005). In the multivariate analysis, high cardiovascular risk was found to be independently associated with the presence of carotid thickness evaluated by the z-score, with risk four times greater (p=0.010) of presenting with this condition compared with individuals with low risk, and this fact was not observed when factors were analysed alone.


The presence of high cardiovascular risk in adolescents assessed by the Pathobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth score was associated with marked thickening of the carotid artery in healthy adolescents.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: T. D. A. Ramos, Rua Nilo Peçanha, 851 apartamento 901, Prata, Cidade: Campina Grande/Paraíba, País 58400-515, Brazil. Tel: +55 (83) 98840-5101; E-mail:


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