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Growing-Related Changes in Arterial Properties of Healthy Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults Nonexposed to Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Analysis of Gender-Related Differences
The aims of our work were to determine normal aging rates for structural and functional arterial parameters in healthy children, adolescents, and young adults and to identify gender-related differences in these aging rates. Methods: 161 subjects (mean: 15 years (range: 4-28 years), 69 females) were studied. Subjects included had no congenital or chronic diseases, nor had they been previously exposed to traditional cardiovascular risk factors. Arterial parameters assessed were (1) central blood pressure (BP) and aortic pulse wave analysis, (2) arterial local (pressure-strain elastic modulus) and regional (pulse wave velocity, PWV) stiffness, and (3) arterial diameters and carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT). Simple linear regression models (age as the independent variable) were obtained for all the parameters and the resulting rates of change were compared between genders. Results: No gender-related differences were found in mean values of arterial structural and functional parameters in prepubertal ages (4-8 years), but they started to appear at ∼15 years. Boys showed a greater rate of change for central systolic BP, central pulse pressure, CIMT, and carotid-femoral PWV. Conclusion: Gender-related differences in arterial characteristics of adults can be explained on the basis of different growing-related patterns between boys and girls, with no existing differences in prepubertal ages.
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