The association of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol with elevated arterial stiffness in adolescents and young adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes: The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study

Pediatr Diabetes. 2020 Aug;21(5):863-870. doi: 10.1111/pedi.13021. Epub 2020 May 5.


Aim: Our aim was to explore the relationship of Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (LDL-C) with subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD) in youth with T1D and T2D. We hypothesized the association of LDL-C with elevated arterial stiffness (AS) would be partially accounted by the co-occurrence of other CVD factors.

Method: We included 1376 youth with T1D and 157 with T2D from the SEARCH study. CVD risk factors including LDL-C, waist to height ratio (WHtR), mean arterial pressure (MAP), HbA1c, albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR), and insulin sensitivity (IS) score were measured at both visits. At follow up, elevated carotid-femoral AS was defined as levels above 6.8 m/s. Multivariable logistic regression evaluated the odds of elevated AS as a function of the average CVD risk factors.

Results: At follow up, age was 18.0 ± 4.1 and 21.6 ± 3.5 years and duration of diabetes was 7.8 ± 1.9 and 7.7 ± 1.9 years in T1D and T2D, respectively. Elevated AS was found in 8.4% of T1D and 49.0% of T2D participants. Each SD increase in LDL-C was associated with 1.28 increased odds (95% CI 1.05-1.54, P = .013) of elevated AS in youth with T1D. The association was similar but not statistically significant in T2D. WHtR, IS, and MAP were associated with elevated AS in both groups. Adjustment for WHtR or IS attenuated to non-significance the relationship between LDL-C and AS in T1D.

Conclusions: Obesity and insulin resistance attenuate the association of high LDL-C with AS suggesting they partially account for the adverse effects of LDL-C on cardiovascular health in youth with T1D.

Keywords: AS; adolescents; cardiovascular disease; cholesterol; low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; obesity; type 1 diabetes; type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Age of Onset
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / physiopathology
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / blood
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / etiology
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / physiopathology
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / analysis
  • Heart Disease Risk Factors
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vascular Stiffness / physiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A

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