Objective: To investigate carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and serum endothelial marker levels in obese Chinese children.
Design: Observational and descriptive study.
Setting: Hangzhou, China.
Participants: A total 131 obese children, including 29 with at least 2 components of metabolic syndrome (MS) (MS group), 102 with less than 2 components of MS (obese group), and 31 nonobese children (control group) were enrolled.
Main outcome measures: Intima-media thickness, von Willebrand factor (vWF) level, and thrombomodulin level.
Results: Compared with the control group, the obese group had greater IMT and higher vWF level (P < .05 for all). The mean (SD) vWF levels in the obese, MS, and control groups were 2.08 (0.78), 2.42 (0.98), and 1.54 (0.48) IU/mL, respectively, which were significantly different (P < .001). Intima-media thickness in the obese and MS groups was significantly greater than that in the control group. Intima-media thickness in the MS group was greater than that in the obese group. Multiple regression analysis showed that ratio of waist to height, vWF level, and triglycerides level were independent determinants of IMT.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest endothelial injury in obese children. Intima-media thickness and vWF level might be useful to identify the degree of endothelial damage.