Evaluation of aortic intima-media thickness in newborns with Down syndrome
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BACKGROUND: Health care programs for children with Down syndrome (DS) help improve the overall outcome and quality of life of these children. It is therefore very important to focus on the most common and serious problems of these patients, such as congenital heart defects and cardiac problems, and to keep medical guidelines updated with regard to these problems. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to evaluate aortic intima-media thickness (aIMT), lipid profiles and blood pressure in DS patients in comparison with a control group of ageand gender-matched neonates without DS. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Serum concentrations of lipids (total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, and triglyceride), blood pressure and abdominal aIMT were measured in newborns with DS, and compared with the measurements from ageand gender-matched newborns without DS. RESULTS: No statistically significant differences between the 2 groups of newborns were detected with respect to aIMT, lipid levels or blood pressure. CONCLUSIONS: This study represents the first investigation of aIMT - one of the most important indicators of atherosclerosis - in DS patients, but neither a significantly increased aIMT, nor any significant changes in lipid profiles or blood pressure were detected in this group of patients. Whether aIMT differs according to the type of congenital heart defect (such as atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, patent ductus arteriosus, and atrioventricular septal defect) among DS patients remains to be determined in future studies.
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