Objective: To evaluate cardiac mass and function, carotid intima-media thickness, and serum lipid and lipoprotein (a) (Lpa) levels in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) of short duration.
Background: Diabetes mellitus has been found to be an important risk factor for macrovascular disease in adults. Increased serum lipids and Lpa levels have been reported in adolescents with type 1 DM; atherosclerotic vascular lesions involving a combination of fatty degeneration and vessel stiffening of the arterial wall and myocardial involvement impairing diastolic function may be present in adolescents and young adults with type 1 DM.
Design/methods: Twenty children and adolescents (10 males, 10 females) diagnosed with type 1 DM before 3.4 +/- 3.3 years with a mean age of 11.9 +/- 3.6 years were studied; their HbA1c levels were 8.0 +/- 1.9%. Twenty healthy non-diabetic controls, 10 males and 10 females, aged 12.1 +/- 3.4 years, matched for height and weight, participated in the study. Fasting blood samples were obtained for lipid and Lpa analysis. Patients underwent transthoracic M-mode and two-dimensional echocardiographic evaluation for measurement of left atrial and ventricular dimensions and left ventricular (LV) wall thickness and mass. Stroke volume and cardiac output were measured using pulsed Doppler echocardiography; carotid intima-media thickness was measured using high-resolution mode B ultrasound.
Results: Interventricular septal thickness (7.1 +/- 1.8 vs 7.0 +/- 1.5 mm), LV posterior wall thickness (7.1 +/- 1.4 vs 7.5 +/- 2.0 mm) and LV mass after correction for body surface area (70.6 +/- 27.4 vs 70.7 +/- 18.0 g/m2) were similar in patients and controls. Similarly, the LV ejection fraction at rest was similar in patients and controls (69.9 +/- 2.3 vs 70.0 +/- 0.6%), as were pulmonary venous flow velocities (0.56 +/- 0.09 vs 0.55 +/- 0.10 m/s for diastolic peak velocity, 0.54 +/- 0.08 vs 0.50 +/- 0.09 m/s for systolic peak velocity and 0.17 +/- 0.07 vs 0.19 +/- 0.05 m/s for atrial reversal filling). Carotid intima-media thickness (0.60 +/- 0.02 and 0.59 +/- 0.02 mm for the right and left carotid artery) was similar to that of controls (0.60 +/- 0.03 and 0.61 +/- 0.02 mm for the right and left carotid artery). Low density lipoprotein cholesterol and Lpa levels were increased in patients compared to controls (113.2 +/- 26.0 mg/dl and 20.1 +/- 11.7 mg/dl in patients vs 90.4 +/- 14.3 mg/dl and 9.8 +/- 2.9 mg/dl in controls; p <0.01), while total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and serum triglyceride concentrations were similar to those in controls.
Conclusions: Although children and adolescents with type 1 DM seem not to show alterations in cardiac mass and function or early atherosclerotic changes in the first few years after diagnosis, their cardiovascular risk is increased as they present with dyslipidemia at an early stage of the disease.