Adolescents With Severe Obesity Show a Higher Cardiovascular (CV) Risk Than Those With Type 1 Diabetes: A Study With Skin Advanced Glycation End Products and Intima Media Thickness Evaluation

Acta Diabetol. 2020 Jun 5. doi: 10.1007/s00592-020-01537-1. Online ahead of print.


Aims: Type 1 diabetes (T1D) and obesity are strongly associated with cardiovascular (CV) risk and can start in the paediatric age. The CV risk profile of two groups of adolescents was compared through the evaluation of sAGE, IMT and known variables associated with CV risk. The first group was affected by T1D with duration of disease of at least 5 years or 3 years since puberty onset, and the second by severe obesity for more than 3 years.

Methods: A total of 116 patients were prospectively enrolled in the study (71 T1D, 33 males and 38 females; 45 obese, 18 males and 27 females), and their sAGE, IMT, waist/height ratio, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides/cholesterol HDL ratio, BMI, HbA1c and blood pressure were measured.

Results: An IMT value > 0.7 mm, cut-off value to define CV risk, was present in 28% of the obese patients and in no T1D patients. Age-adjusted sAGE and HbA1c levels were higher T1D patients, whereas a higher percentage of pathological values was present in most of the remaining studied variables. In T1D patients, there was a higher percentage of females with waist/height ratio > 0.5, LDL cholesterol > 100 mg/dL, triglycerides/HDL cholesterol ratio > 2 and BMI > 99° centile and a higher percentage of males with HbA1c > 7%. On the contrary, in obese patients there were no differences between males and females. Multiple analysis is identified BMI SDS as the only variable with a significant influence on IMT in both groups. Furthermore, it showed that HbA1c and gender affected sAGE in T1D patients, whereas only age and gender in the obese patients.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that our adolescents with severe obesity carry a much higher CV risk than adolescents with T1D unless in bad metabolic control. Apart from lower sAGE levels, most of the variables considered to define CV risk were higher in the obese group than in the T1D group. Gender seems to have a significant impact on sAGE levels but not on IMT.

Keywords: Adolescents; Advanced glycation end products; Cardiovascular risk; Intima media thickness; Obesity; Type 1 diabetes.