Abstract 3634: Increase in Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in Grade I Hypertensives in a 5-year Prospective Study
Although blood pressure plays a key role in the increase in carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), prospective data are lacking in hypertensives. Aim of this study was to define the rate of increase in carotid IMT in Grade I hypertensives, and the potential role played by various risk factors. Using B-mode ultrasound, we studied 74 never treated hypertensives (age:18–45 y.) enrolled in the HARVEST study. IMT was assessed as mean IMT (m-IMT) and as maximum IMT (M-IMT) in the right and left common carotid artery (CCA), carotid bulb (B), and internal carotid artery (ICA) at baseline and at the 5-year follow-up. Twenty normotensive subjects were studied for comparison. Here we report preliminary data on the carotid intima-media remodelling we observed in this cohort. At the end of the 5-year follow-up period, in Grade I hypertensives both mean-IMT and M-IMT were significantly higher compared to baseline values. Compared to normotensives, both mean-IMT and M-IMT increased significantly (at least p<0.01) in all carotid segments (histograms). In hypertensives, the increase in mean-IMT and M-IMT directly correlate with the mean arterial blood pressure. In conclusion, this study shows for the first time the extent of carotid IMT increase in young Grade I hypertensives. Compared to our normotensive controls, and those from the literature as well, an increase in carotid IMT took place which is particularly evident for common carotid artery. Further analysis is ongoing to clarify the role played by various factors (i.e., different parameters of blood pressure, blood lipids, demographics, etc.) in the determinism of IMT growth.