Relationship between elevated arterial stiffness and increased left ventricular mass in adolescents and young adults

J Pediatr. 2011 May;158(5):715-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.12.020.


Objective: To determine whether arterial stiffness relates to left ventricular mass (LVM) in adolescents and young adults.

Study design: Demographic, anthropometric, laboratory, echo, carotid ultrasound and arterial stiffness data were obtained in 670 subjects 10 to 24 years of age (35% male, 62% non-Caucasian). Global stiffness index (GSI) was calculated from five measures of carotid artery stiffness, augmentation index, brachial distensibility, and pulse wave velocity (1 point if ≥95th% for subjects with body mass index <85th%). Stiff arteries (S = 73) were defined as GSI ≥95th%. Differences between flexible (F = 597) and S groups were evaluated by t tests. Models were constructed to determine whether GSI was an independent determinant of LVM index or relative wall thickness (RWT).

Results: The S group had more adverse cardiovascular risk factors, higher LVM index and RWT (P ≤ .05) with a trend for abnormal cardiac geometry. Independent determinants of LVM index were higher GSI, age, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, heart rate, glycated hemoglobin A1c, male sex, and sex-by-heart rate interaction (r(2) = 0.52; P ≤ .05). GSI was also an independent determinant of RWT.

Conclusions: Increased arterial stiffness in adolescents and young adults is associated with LVM index independently of traditional cardiovascular risk factors. Screening for arterial stiffness may be useful to identify high risk adolescents and young adults.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Carotid Arteries / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Arteries / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vascular Resistance / physiology*
  • Young Adult