Early onset of subclinical atherosclerosis in young persons with type 1 diabetes

J Pediatr. 2004 Oct;145(4):452-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2004.06.042.


Objective: To evaluate the degree of atherosclerosis and its risk factors in adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes.

Study design: We measured carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) in 142 subjects with type 1 diabetes (mean [SD] age = 16.0 [2.6] years) and 87 control subjects (18.8 [3.1] years). Fasting lipid and homocysteine levels, degree of glycemic control, blood pressure, and body mass index were measured in persons with diabetes.

Results: The mean carotid IMT was greater in persons with diabetes ( P = .002). Among subjects with type 1 diabetes, lipid levels were significantly higher in female subjects compared with male subjects. The mean carotid IMT was significantly higher in persons with a diabetic complication (including hypertension, retinopathy, or microalbuminuria). In male subjects but not female subjects, HDL cholesterol and the LDL/HDL ratio were correlated with carotid IMT.

Conclusions: Adolescents with type 1 diabetes have increased atherosclerosis compared with control subjects. Risk factors for increased carotid IMT in these younger patients include diabetic complications and HDL cholesterol and the LDL/HDL ratio, which may be sex-specific.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arteriosclerosis / blood
  • Arteriosclerosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Carotid Artery, Common / diagnostic imaging
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Homocysteine / blood
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Tunica Intima / diagnostic imaging
  • Tunica Media / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography


  • Lipids
  • Homocysteine