BACKGROUND: Common carotid intima medial thickness (IMT) increases with aging. However, the longitudinal association between IMT and other age-associated hemodynamic alterations in men and in women are not fully explored. METHODS AND RESULTS: We analyzed repeated measures of IMT, blood pressure, and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity over a 20-year period in 1067 men and women of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging; participants were ages 20 to 92 years at entry and free of overt cardiovascular disease. Linear mixed-effects models were used to calculate the individual rates of change (Change ) of IMT, pulse pressure, mean arterial pressure, and pulse wave velocity, among other covariates. Multivariate regression analysis was used to examine the association of IMTChange with baseline and rates of change of hemodynamic parameters and cardiovascular risk factors. IMT increased at accelerating rates from 0.02 mm/decade at age 50 years to 0.05 mm/decade at age 80 years greater rates in men than in women. IMTChange was positively associated with baseline low-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoproteinChange, and baseline systolic blood pressure and systolic blood pressureChange, but inversely with baseline diastolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressureChange . When blood pressure was expressed as pulse pressure and MAP, IMTChange was positively associated with baseline pulse pressure and pulse pressureChange and inversely with baseline mean arterial pressure and mean arterial pressureChange . In sex-specific analysis, these associations were observed in women, but not in men. CONCLUSIONS: In summary, our analyses showed that IMT increases at accelerating rates with aging. Age-associated changes in IMT were modulated by concurrent changes of low-density lipoprotein in both sexes, and of pulsatile and mean blood pressure in women but not men.
- Intima-medial thickness
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine