Association of socioeconomic status, truncal fat and sICAM-1 with carotid intima-media thickness in adolescents: the HELENA study

Atherosclerosis. 2013 Jun;228(2):460-5. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2013.03.007. Epub 2013 Mar 19.


Objective: To measure the carotid intima-media-thickness (cIMT) and to assess its determinant factors in healthy adolescents.

Methods: 319 adolescents aged 12.5-17.5 years (135 boys, 184 girls) were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. cIMT and carotid diameter were measured by high-resolution B-mode ultrasound. Anthropometric parameters, blood pressure, physical activity (PA), aerobic fitness and dietary intakes were assessed. Socioeconomic status was determined with the family affluence scale (FAS 4). Serum biological markers (lipids, glucose, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, soluble adhesion molecules) were measured in a subsample of 96 adolescents.

Results: Multiple regression analysis showed that cIMT was positively associated with truncal fat (p = 0.021) and negatively with FAS 4 (p = 0.002) independently of age and blood pressure. There were no significant associations between cIMT and PA, fitness and dietary intakes. In the subsample soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 was positively correlated with cIMT (p = 0.017), independently of truncal fat, age and blood pressure.

Conclusions: Low socioeconomic conditions and increased truncal fat are associated with greater carotid intima-media-thickness in adolescents.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity*
  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / blood
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / etiology*
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / physiopathology
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / blood*
  • Life Style
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Skinfold Thickness
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Subcutaneous Fat / physiopathology*
  • Waist Circumference
  • Waist-Hip Ratio


  • Biomarkers
  • ICAM1 protein, human
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1