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Teen-agers with Type 1 diabetes already developing cardiovascular disease

SAN DIEGO (June 12)-Youths with type 1 diabetes, especially boys, already show early signs of cardiovascular disease by their teen-age years, according to researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

Teen-age boys with type 1 diabetes showed evidence of greater atherosclerosis, a thickening of the artery walls, than those without diabetes, according to the study. Researchers also noted that boys with diabetes who smoked, inhaled second-hand smoke or had unfavorable levels of blood lipids-such as cholesterol-tended to have even thicker artery walls. The team presented its findings at the American Diabetes Association's 65th Scientific Sessions.

"This would suggest that aggressive anti-smoking strategies be employed, as well as perhaps a more aggressive approach to treat lipid abnormalities. But this requires further investigation," says study senior author Francine R. Kaufman, M.D., professor of pediatrics at the Keck School and head of the division of endocrinology and metabolism at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). Maria Karantza, M.D., endocrinology fellow at CHLA, presented the data.

Researchers compared 90 teen-age boys and girls with type 1 diabetes to 16 other teens the same age without the disease. In each participant, they looked at the intima-media thickness (IMT) of the common carotid artery-basically, the thickness of the wall of the main neck artery. That thickness can hint at atherosclerosis progression.

Atherosclerosis, an accumulation of cholesterol-containing plaques along the artery walls, can eventually cause heart attack, angina and stroke.

The researchers found that teen-age boys, but not girls, with type 1 diabetes had significantly higher IMT than those without type 1 diabetes. IMT was higher among boys with poor glucose control, exposure to smoke, and higher total cholesterol and apoliprotein B levels. Apoliprotein B (apoB)
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Contact: Richard Stone
rstone@usc.edu
323-442-2830
University of Southern California
12-Jun-2005


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