Associations between carotid artery longitudinal wall motion and arterial stiffness indicators in young children
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BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Carotid artery longitudinal wall motion (CALM) is associated with established indicators of arterial stiffness in healthy adults and in adults with cardiovascular disease risk factors. CALM assessment may be more feasible for incorporation into routine clinical examination than traditional assessments of arterial stiffness; however, the relationship between CALM and arterial stiffness in children has not been established. METHODS: Data were collected from a subset of children participating in the Health Outcomes and Physical activity in Preschoolers study. CALM was characterized by segmental longitudinal wall displacement, velocity, and acceleration. Arterial stiffness was measured using whole-body pulse wave velocity (PWV) and carotid artery β-stiffness index. Associations between CALM and arterial stiffness and the influence of age, sex, and height on those associations were determined. RESULTS: One hundred and ninety-one children (ages 5.0-8.0 years) were included in the analyses. Systolic retrograde (r = -0.20, p = 0.01) and maximum (r = -0.15, p = 0.04) CALM displacements were weakly correlated with PWV while systolic anterograde and diastolic CALM displacements and wall velocities and accelerations were not correlated with PWV (r = -0.12 to -0.03, p = 0.10 to 0.64). There were no significant correlations between any CALM outcome and β-stiffness index (r = -0.12 to 0.10; p > 0.05). Associations were attenuated after adjusting for age, sex, and height. CONCLUSIONS: Higher arterial stiffness, measured by PWV, but not β-stiffness, is weakly associated with less longitudinal movement of the common carotid artery in young, healthy children indicating CALM measurement is not a strong candidate for clinical assessment of arterial stiffness in children.
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