Abstract 4140: Age-Associated Effects of the Metabolic Syndrome on Arterial Structure and Function. The ProgeNIA Study.
Both the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and arterial structure and function are increasingly recognized as potent risk factors for CV disease. We investigated the age-associated effects of MetS on large artery structure and function in a large population from Sardinia, Italy.
Methods: The ProgeNIA Study was conceived as a study to investigate the genetics of complex traits/phenotypes of a Sardinian founder population. Over a 3y period, 6,148 subjects were enrolled (over 60% of those aged 14–102 in a cluster of 4 towns). MetS was defined according to the ATP III criteria. SBP, DBP, PP; common carotid artery (CCA) diameter (Diam), intima-media thickness (IMT) in areas devoid of plaques and calcifications, relative distensibility (Dist), strain, stiffness index, wall stress, and aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) were measured. CCA plaque, defined as focal encroachment of the arterial wall, and CCA calcification, determined as acoustic shadowing were also measured.
Results: Subjects were classified into 4 age groups: <35, 35– 49, 50–64,> 65 y. Prevalence of the MetS was 7.1% in M (n=185) and 6.1% in F (n=214) and progressively increased with age in both M and F( from ~1% in <35 yrs to 15.5% and 20%, respectively in M and F >65 yrs). In any age group, subjects with MetS presented thicker, stiffer or less distensible, and more dilated large arteries than controls. An age-related trend in the specific arterial alteration was observed. Compared to controls, subjects <35y with MetS manifest arterial functional alterations (greater stiffness); middle-age subjects (35– 64y) manifest arterial functional and structural alterations (larger CCA Diam and thicker CCA IMT); older subjects (>65y) manifest a higher occurrence of atherosclerosis (CCA plaques, calcification, and/or stenosis).
Conclusion: The prevalence of the MetS increased with aging in both M and F. MetS accelerates arterial aging, and this effect on the arteries is observable even in older people.