Effect of type 1 diabetes on carotid structure and function in adolescents and young adults: the SEARCH CVD study

Diabetes Care. 2013 Sep;36(9):2597-9. doi: 10.2337/dc12-2024. Epub 2013 Apr 5.


Objective: Type 1 diabetes mellitus causes increased carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in adults. We evaluated IMT in young subjects with type 1 diabetes.

Research design and methods: Participants with type 1 diabetes (N = 402) were matched to controls (N = 206) by age, sex, and race or ethnicity. Anthropometric and laboratory values, blood pressure, and IMT were measured. ANCOVA was used to assess differences controlling for demographic risk factors, cardiovascular risk factors, and HbA1c.

Results: Subjects were 18.9 ± 3.3 years old (50% male, 82.7% non-Hispanic white). Youth with type 1 diabetes had thicker bulb IMT, which remained significantly different after adjustment for demographics and cardiovascular risk factors. Age, sex, adiposity, and systolic blood pressure were consistent significant determinants of IMT. Adjustment for HbA1c eliminated the difference, suggesting the difference was attributable to poor glycemic control.

Conclusions: Carotid IMT may be increased in youth with type 1 diabetes at high risk for cardiovascular disease. Better control of diabetes may be essential in preventing progression of atherosclerosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult