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      Factors Significantly Associated With the Increased Prevalence of Carotid Atherosclerosis in a Northeast Chinese Middle-aged and Elderly Population : A Cross-sectional Study

      , MD, , MD, PhD, , MD, PhD, , MD, , MD, , MD, PhD
      Wolters Kluwer Health

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          Carotid atherosclerosis is associated with many serious cardiovascular diseases; hence, it is necessary to identify factors related to its occurrence in order to develop preventive and therapeutic strategies. This study was conducted to identify risk factors associated with carotid atherosclerosis among the population residing in Northeast China.

          This epidemiological survey was conducted in a representative group of relatively healthy community residents. All participants answered questions about their medical histories and underwent physical examination, blood biochemical analysis, and ultrasonography examinations of their necks and abdomens. The prevalence rates of carotid atherosclerosis under different factors and conditions were then analyzed.

          The results of this study showed that age, gender, and diabetes significantly affected the prevalence of carotid atherosclerosis in this Northeast Chinese population. In addition, gender-based subgroup analysis revealed additional factors correlated with the prevalence of carotid atherosclerosis in men or women, although their correlations were not significant in the overall population. While high serum TC and LDL-C levels were risk factors for carotid atherosclerosis in men, it showed no clear correlation with the prevalence of carotid atherosclerosis in women. In contrast, the prevalence of carotid atherosclerosis in female participants with high serum TG level, hypertension, obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease were higher than that of the control population, a trend not observed in male participants.

          Older age, male sex, and diabetes were independently associated with increased risk of carotid atherosclerosis in Northeast China. These findings could lead to improved screening for carotid atherosclerosis for better disease management.

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          Most cited references28

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          Endothelial dysfunction in diabetes.

          Endothelial dysfunction plays a key role in the pathogenesis of diabetic vascular disease. The endothelium controls the tone of the underlying vascular smooth muscle through the production of vasodilator mediators. The endothelium-derived relaxing factors (EDRF) comprise nitric oxide (NO), prostacyclin, and a still elusive endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF). Impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation has been demonstrated in various vascular beds of different animal models of diabetes and in humans with type 1 and 2 diabetes. Several mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction have been reported, including impaired signal transduction or substrate availibility, impaired release of EDRF, increased destruction of EDRF, enhanced release of endothelium-derived constricting factors and decreased sensitivity of the vascular smooth muscle to EDRF. The principal mediators of hyperglycaemia-induced endothelial dysfunction may be activation of protein kinase C, increased activity of the polyol pathway, non-enzymatic glycation and oxidative stress. Correction of these pathways, as well as administration of ACE inhibitors and folate, has been shown to improve endothelium-dependent vasodilation in diabetes. Since the mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction appear to differ according to the diabetic model and the vascular bed under study, it is important to select clinically relevant models for future research of endothelial dysfunction.
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            Increased accumulation of the glycoxidation product N(epsilon)-(carboxymethyl)lysine in human tissues in diabetes and aging.

            N(epsilon)-(Carboxymethyl)lysine (CML), a major product of oxidative modification of glycated proteins, has been suggested to represent a general marker of oxidative stress and long-term damage to proteins in aging, atherosclerosis, and diabetes. To investigate the occurrence and distribution of CML in humans an antiserum specifically recognizing protein-bound CML was generated. The oxidative formation of CML from glycated proteins was reduced by lipoic acid, aminoguanidine, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and particularly vitamin E and desferrioxamine. Immunolocalization of CML in skin, lung, heart, kidney, intestine, intervertebral discs, and particularly in arteries provided evidence for an age-dependent increase in CML accumulation in distinct locations, and acceleration of this process in diabetes. Intense staining of the arterial wall and particularly the elastic membrane was found. High levels of CML modification were observed within atherosclerotic plaques and in foam cells. The preferential location of CML immunoreactivity in lesions may indicate the contribution of glycoxidation to the processes occurring in diabetes and aging. Additionally, we found increased CML content in serum proteins in diabetic patients. The strong dependence of CML formation on oxidative conditions together with the increased occurrence of CML in diabetic serum and tissue proteins suggest a role for CML as endogenous biomarker for oxidative damage.
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              Combined effects of child and adult elevated blood pressure on subclinical atherosclerosis: the International Childhood Cardiovascular Cohort Consortium.

              Elevated blood pressure (BP) levels in childhood have been associated with subsequent atherosclerosis. However, it is uncertain whether this risk is attenuated in individuals who acquire normal BP by adulthood. The present study examined the effect of child and adult BP levels on carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) in adulthood. The cohort consisted of 4210 participants from 4 prospective studies (mean follow-up, 23 years). Childhood elevated BP was defined according to the tables from the National High Blood Pressure Education Program. In adulthood, BP was classified as elevated for individuals with systolic BP ≥120 mm Hg, diastolic BP ≥80 mm Hg or with self-reported use of antihypertensive medications. Carotid artery IMT was measured in the left common carotid artery. High IMT was defined as an IMT ≥90th percentile according to age-, sex-, race-, and cohort-specific levels. Individuals with persistently elevated BP and individuals with normal childhood BP, but elevated adult BP had increased risk of high carotid artery IMT (relative risk [95% confidence interval]) 1.82[1.47-2.38] and 1.57[1.22-2.02], respectively) in comparison with individuals with normal child and adult BP. In contrast, individuals with elevated BP as children but not as adults did not have significantly increased risk (1.24[0.92-1.67]). In addition, these individuals had a lower risk of increased carotid artery IMT (0.66[0.50-0.88]) in compared with those with persistently elevated BP. The results were consistent when controlling for age, sex, and adiposity and when different BP definitions were applied. Individuals with persistently elevated BP from childhood to adulthood had increased risk of carotid atherosclerosis. This risk was reduced if elevated BP during childhood resolved by adulthood.

                Author and article information

                Medicine (Baltimore)
                Medicine (Baltimore)
                Wolters Kluwer Health
                April 2016
                08 April 2016
                : 95
                : 14
                From the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Institute of Endocrinology, Liaoning Provincial Key Laboratory of Endocrine Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang, China.
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Zhong-Yan Shan, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Institute of Endocrinology, Liaoning Provincial Key Laboratory of Endocrine Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang, China (e-mail: shanzhongyan@ 123456medmail.com.cn ).
                Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0, where it is permissible to download, share and reproduce the work in any medium, provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0

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