The association between body composition and arterial stiffness in peri-pubescent children
Banach, Alayna M.
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The objective of this study was to examine the association between body composition and arterial stiffuess in peri-pubescent boys and girls. Differences in arterial distensibility were measured in 68 children (45 normal weight, 12 overweight, and 11 obese) between the ages of9 to 12 years. Weight classification was based on age and gender-specific body mass index cut-offs, while pubertal maturation was self-reported using Tanner staging. Distensibility was determined using two-dimensional, B-Mode echo Doppler ultrasound to measure changes at the right common carotid artery (CCA) diameter changes, while carotid pulse pressure (cPP) was measured at the left CCA by applanation tonometry. One-way ANOV A analysis revealed significant differences (p<0.001) in all anthropometric measures between the normal weight and overweight children, as well as the normal weight and obese children. Body stature was only higher in obese children compared to normal weight children (p<0.01). No significant differences were found between groups regarding age or Tanner stage. Common carotid artery distensibility showed a significant difference (p<0.01) between normal weight children (0.008 ± 0.002 mmHg-1 ) compared to obese children (0.005 ± 0.002 mmHg-1 ), with a borderline significant difference between the normal and overweight subjects (p=0.06). There was no significant effect for gender between males and females across all independent variables. The strongest determinants of distensibility in children were cPP (r= -0.52, p<O.OOI), change in diastolic diameter (r= 0.50, p<O.OOI), and sum of 4 skinfold thickness (r= -0.40, p<O.OOI). Regression analysis revealed that cPP alone explained 27% of the variance in distensibility in children. In addition, cPP, diameter difference, systolic and diastolic diameter, as well as waist-to-hip ratio explained 94% of the variance among peri-pubescent children. This study greatly underscores the need for weight management for long-term prevention of cardiovascular disease in overweight and obese children.