BACKGROUND: We evaluated the prevalence of intima-media thickening (IMT) and asymptomatic carotid plaque (ACP) in a group of subjects with or without traditional and/or emerging risk factors (RF). METHODS: There were 631 subjects (313 male and 318 female) aged between 19 and 97 years, asymptomatic for cerebro- and cardiovascular diseases. The following measurements were used: anamnesis, physical examination, height and sitting blood pressure. Biochemistry variables were also considered: total cholesterol, HDL-C, LDL-C, triglycerides, fibrinogen, high sensitive C-reactive protein, IgG antibodies for Helicobacter pylori (HP), cytotoxic HP, cytomegalovirus and Chlamydia pneumoniae. Finally, an echo color Doppler examination of the carotid arteries was performed. We subdivided the population studied in normotensive and hypertensive subjects and evaluated in each group the frequency of IMT and ACP in relation to age. RESULTS: We showed that IMT + ACP was significantly more frequent in patients >65 years in comparison with those <65 years (80.6 vs. 52.1%, p < 0.005) and in hypertensive patients in comparison to normotensive, independent of coexistence of other cardiovascular risk factors (71 vs. 48%, p < 0.005). Another interesting result of our study is a significant presence of IMT and ACP in subjects with emerging but without traditional RF than in subjects with traditional but without emerging RF. CONCLUSIONS: IMT and ACP of carotid arteries are significantly more frequent in patients >65 years vs. those <65 years and in hypertensive patients in comparison to controls. Finally, we have found that the seropositivity of infection and the presence of higher levels of marker of inflammation were correlated with carotid lesion.
|Publication status||Published - 2005|