Background: The aim of the present work was to investigate intima media thickness (IMT) in healthy and in hypertensive adolescents and its influencing factors. Methods: 103 hypertensive and 58 healthy adolescents were studied. IMT was measured in the common carotid artery using B-mode ultrasonography. Additionally, laboratory parameters (blood glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL- and LDL-cholesterols) and left ventricular mass indices were obtained. Results: IMT in the common carotid artery was higher in hypertensive adolescents (means ± SD: 0.55 ± 0.11 mm) than in healthy control subjects (0.48 ± 0.08 mm, p < 0.001). Similarly, a higher left ventricular mass index was measured in hypertensive (103.2 ± 30.6 g/m2) than in healthy teenagers (91.1 ± 25.2 g/m2, p < 0.001). In general, IMT in adolescents was associated with age, weight, body mass index, left ventricular mass index and average systolic and diastolic blood pressure values of the subjects. By assessing the multivariate association between IMT and other factors, intima-media thickness was only associated with age and left ventricular mass index of the hypertensive subjects and was independent from all the investigated factors in normotensive controls. Conclusions: Our data suggest an ongoing target-organ damage in adolescent hypertension. These patients need to be subjected to early diagnostic methods, treatment and a regular follow-up, in order to avoid severe clinical manifestations of secondary target-organ damage due to hypertension.
- Arterial hypertension
- Intima-media thickness
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine