High rate of increased carotid intima-media thickness and atherosclerotic plaques in Chinese asymptomatic subjects with central obesity.Int J Cardiovasc Imaging 2011; 27(6):833-41IJ
Both central obesity and increased carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) are markers of atherosclerosis and associated with cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Information of IMT in Chinese subjects with central obesity is limited. This study was performed to assess the rate of atherosclerosis and abnormal IMT in asymptomatic Chinese subjects with central obesity, and to investigate the association between IMT values and CVD risk factors including hypertension, hyperglycaemia and dyslipidaemia. We studied 122 centrally obese adults who had good past health. IMT measurements on carotid arteries were performed and fasting blood taken for plasma glucose and lipid profiles. Abnormal IMT was defined as > 0.9 mm. Atherosclerosis was defined as the presence of one or more visible plague. Of the 122 subjects, the mean (±SD) age was 59.4 ± 5.8 years (median [range]: 59.0 [45-75] years). The median IMT value was 0.70 mm (range: 0.53-1.19 mm) [men vs. women: 0.74 mm vs. 0.66 mm, P-value: < 0.001]. IMT values and the rate of atherosclerosis increased with age and the number of CVD risk factors (P-value for trend: < 0.05). Using binary logistic regression to predict the presence of atherosclerosis with the presence of abnormal IMT, age, gender, and other CVD risk factors as independent variables, age (OR [95% CI] = 1.13 [1.03, 1.23], P = 0.009) and abnormal IMT (OR [95% CI] = 4.05 [1.09, 15.03], P = 0.037) were independently associated with atherosclerosis. In conclusion, among Hong Kong Chinese asymptomatic subjects with central obesity, there was a high rate of CVD risk factors. We found that 19% of these subjects had carotid atherosclerotic plaques and 10% of them had abnormal IMT (>0.9 mm). Carotid IMT study may serve as an appropriate screening tool to diagnose atherosclerosis in the centrally obese middle-aged population.