Prevalence of increased arterial stiffness in children with type 1 diabetes mellitus differs by measurement site and sex: the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study

J Pediatr. 2010 May;156(5):731-7, 737.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.11.011. Epub 2010 Jan 25.


Objective: To discuss vascular stiffness commonly encountered in children with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Study design: We examined 535 subjects with T1DM (14.6 years; 53% male, 88% non-Hispanic white) and 241 healthy control subjects (17.8 years; 42% male, 39% non-Hispanic white). Abnormalities in brachial distensibility (BrachD), pulse wave velocity, and augmentation index corrected to a HR of 75 (AIx-75) were examined.

Results: Subjects with T1DM had higher body mass index, LDL-cholesterol, fasting glucose, and blood pressure than control subjects. Diabetic subjects had lower BrachD and higher AIx-75 indicating increased stiffness. Age-adjusted pulse wave velocity-trunk (aorto-femoral) was higher in cases (all P <or= < .05). Increased peripheral stiffness was more common than central stiffness in subjects with T1DM (low BrachD in 33% vs high PWV-trunk in 9.9%). Male subjects with type 1 diabetes had a higher prevalence of VS abnormalities than females. Presence of T1DM, male sex, and increased mean arterial pressure were the most consistent independent determinants of vascular stiffness.

Conclusions: Increased vascular stiffness is present in youth with T1DM with peripheral abnormalities predominating especially in males. Traditional risk factors are important correlates. Identifying early vascular abnormalities in youth with T1DM will allow for implementation of more aggressive risk factor management.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Arm / blood supply
  • Arteries / physiopathology*
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Blood Pressure
  • Brachial Artery / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology*
  • Elasticity
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Leg / blood supply
  • Male
  • Pulsatile Flow