Arterial stiffness and body composition in children and adolescents

Tommy Cai, Alice Meroni, Hasthi Dissanayake, Melinda Phang, Ahmad Qasem, Julian Ayer, Mark Butlin, Alberto Avolio, David Cellermajer, Michael Skilton

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    Objectives: Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) is a validated non-invasive measure of aortic stiffness. Risk factors for cfPWV are well described in adulthood, and furthermore cfPWV is associated with incident cardiovascular disease in adults (1). However, risk factors for arterial stiffness in childhood are poorly described (2). Accordingly, we sought to determine the risk factors for cfPWV in childhood and adolescence and hypothesized that cfPWV would be higher amongst those with greater adiposity.

    Methods: We prospectively recruited 88 healthy children (mean age = 11.0 ± 5.3 years old). Age, weight, height, and blood pressure were measured. cfPWV was assessed using a semi-automated cuff-based device (Sphygmocor XCEL; AtCor Medical, Australia), and body composition using air displacement plethysmography (BOD POD; Cosmed, Italy) (3). Associations with cfPWV were determined by multivariable linear regression, with subsequent mediation analyses to inform likely causal pathways.

    Results: After adjusting for age and sex, cfPWV was significantly associated with weight, body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure, mean blood pressure, heart rate, and lean body mass (LBM), while LBM was significantly associated with height, weight, BMI and fat mass (Table 1). After further adjusting for weight, mean blood pressure and heart rate, LBM remained significantly associated with cfPWV (ß = 0.68; p = 0.007). Mediation analyses indicate that weight mediates the association between age and cfPWV (PM = 76%), and that LBM mediates the relationship between weight and cfPWV (Figure 1).

    Conclusion: Higher cfPWV in healthy children and adolescents is a function of growth, and this association may be in turn mediated by higher LBM rather than adiposity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberP162
    Pages (from-to)127
    Number of pages1
    JournalArtery Research
    Issue numberC
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
    EventAssociation for Research into Arterial Structure and Physiology Conference 2019: ARTERY 2019 - Budapest, Hungary
    Duration: 10 Oct 201912 Oct 2019

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