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Open Access Research article

Differential effects of the changes of LDL cholesterol and systolic blood pressure on the risk of carotid artery atherosclerosis

Kuo-Liong Chien12, Yu-Kang Tu3, Hsiu-Ching Hsu2, Ta-Chen Su2, Hung-Ju Lin2, Ming-Fong Chen2 and Yuan-Teh Lee24*

Author affiliations

1 Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

2 Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan

3 Division of Biostatistics, Leeds Institute of Genetics, Health & Therapeutics, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

4 China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

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Citation and License

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2012, 12:66  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-12-66

Published: 17 August 2012

Abstract

Background

The effects of baseline and changes in blood pressure and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol on the carotid intima media thickness (IMT) have not been well documented.

Methods

A total of 2572 adults (mean age 53.8 years, 54.6% women) in a Taiwanese community undertook three blood pressure and LDL cholesterol examinations over 6 years. Latent growth curve modeling was used to investigate the effects of baseline and change in blood pressure and LDL cholesterol on IMT.

Results

Greater baseline LDL and blood pressure were associated with an increase in IMT (0.005 ± 0.002 mm per 1 mg/dL [p = 0.006] and 0.041 ± 0.004 mm mmHg [p <0.0001], respectively. Change in blood pressure was associated with a significant increase in IMT (0.047±0.016, P = 0.004), whilst the association between change in LDL and change in IMT was not statistically significant (0.008±0.006, P = 0.20).

Conclusions

Carotid IMT was associated with baseline blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, yet only changes of blood pressure, not LDL cholesterol, were related to carotid IMT during the 6-year observation.

Keywords:
Latent growth curve modeling; Carotid intima media thickness; Blood pressure; LDL cholesterol