Arterial stiffness in adolescents and young adults with and without type 1 diabetes: the SEARCH CVD study

Pediatr Diabetes. 2015 Aug;16(5):367-74. doi: 10.1111/pedi.12279. Epub 2015 Apr 24.


Background: Arterial stiffness is a useful parameter to predict future cardiovascular disease.

Objective: We sought to compare arterial stiffness in adolescents and young adults with and without type 1 diabetes (T1D) and explore the risk factors associated with the differences observed.

Subjects and methods: Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV), augmentation index (AI75), and brachial distensibility (BrachD) were measured in 402 adolescents and young adults with T1D (age 18.8 ± 3.3 yr, T1D duration 9.8 ± 3.8 yr) and 206 non-diabetic controls that were frequency-matched by age, sex, and race/ethnicity in a cross-sectional study. General linear models were used to explore variables associated with an increase in arterial stiffness after adjustment for demographic and metabolic covariates.

Results: T1D status was associated with a higher PWV (5.9 ± 0.05 vs. 5.7 ± 0.1 m/s), AI75 (1.3 ± 0.6 vs. -1.9 ± 0.7%), and lower BrachD (6.2 ± 0.1 vs. 6.5 ± 0.1%Δ/mmHg), all p < 0.05. In multivariate models, age, sex, race, adiposity, blood pressure, lipids, and the presence of microalbuminuria were found to be independent correlates of increased arterial stiffness. After adjustment for these risk factors, T1D status was still significantly associated with arterial stiffness (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Peripheral and central subclinical vascular changes are present in adolescents and young adults with T1D compared to controls. Increased cardiovascular risk factors alone do not explain the observed differences in arterial stiffness among cases and controls. Identifying other risk factors associated with increased arterial stiffness in youth with T1D is critical to prevent future vascular complications.

Keywords: arterial stiffness; pediatrics; type 1 diabetes; vascular disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ankle Brachial Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colorado / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / diagnosis
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Ohio / epidemiology
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Vascular Stiffness / physiology*
  • Young Adult