Relation of carotid intima-media thickness and aortic valve sclerosis (from the ISMIR study ["Ispessimento Medio Intimale e Rischio Cardiovascolare"] of the Italian Society of Cardiovascular Echography).

Research paper by Francesco F Antonini-Canterin, Vitantonio V Di Bello, Giovanni G Di Salvo, Salvatore S La Carrubba, Giancarlo G Bellieni, Frank F Benedetto, Francesco F Perticone, Raffaele R Maio, Danilo D Giannini, Alberto A Balbarini, Gian Luigi GL Nicolosi, Antonio A Pezzano, Scipione S Carerj,

Indexed on: 26 May '09Published on: 26 May '09Published in: The American Journal of Cardiology®


Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and aortic valve sclerosis (AVS) have recently emerged as important predictive factors for cardiovascular (CV) events. However, few data are available on their association and the respective roles of major CV risk factors in determining either condition. In this study, 479 asymptomatic subjects (mean age 58 +/- 13 years, 62% men) were assessed, without histories of CV disease, consecutively referred for comprehensive evaluations by echocardiography and carotid ultrasonography because of the presence of > or = 1 risk factor. Common carotid artery IMT and aortic valve morphology and function were analyzed. The mean IMT was 0.82 +/- 0.19 mm. The prevalence of increased carotid IMT (>0.80 mm) and AVS was 60.8% and 18.4%, respectively. The prevalence of increased IMT was 79.6% in subjects with AVS and 56.5% in those without AVS (relative risk 2.99, 95% confidence interval 1.72 to 5.21, p <0.001). On multivariate analysis, increased IMT was significantly and independently associated with hypertension, dyslipidemia, obesity, family history of CV disease, and age. Only age emerged as an independent predictor of AVS. The presence of both markers was independently associated only with hypertension and age. In conclusion, increased carotid IMT was strongly associated with AVS in a population of asymptomatic patients. IMT and AVS were differently related to individual CV risk factors, and their association seems to be correlated mainly with age and hypertension.