Correlation between Carotid Artery Intima-Media Thickness and Luminal Diameter with Body Mass Index and Other Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Adults

Sameeah A. Rashid, Sarbast A. Mahmud


Objectives: This study aimed to examine the correlation between carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) and luminal diameter (LD) with body mass index (BMI) and other cardiovascular risk factors. Methods: This observational cross-sectional study took place between June 2013 and March 2014 in the Radiology Department of Rizgary Teaching Hospital in Erbil, Iraq. Non-randomly selected subjects ≥20 years old (n = 140) were divided into BMI groups and evaluated for the following cardiovascular risk factors: gender, age, hypertension (HTN), diabetes (DM), smoking, alcohol consumption, blood pressure, serum total cholesterol and triglyceride (TG) levels. IMT and LD of the extracranial carotid arteries were measured by B-mode ultrasonography. Results: The mean IMT was 0.8 ± 0.3 mm, ranging from a total mean of 0.7 mm in the normal BMI group to 1.0 mm in the extremely obese group. A significant correlation was found between IMT and BMI (P = 0.04), but not between BMI and LD (P = 0.3). No significant difference in mean IMT or LD was seen between genders. Significant correlations were found between IMT and age, HTN, DM, high serum cholesterol and TG levels (P <0.001). An increase of one BMI unit caused a 0.009 mm increase in IMT and an increase of one year in age caused a 0.011 mm increase in IMT. Conclusion: Age, obesity, HTN, DM, high serum cholesterol and TG levels were found to have an impact on carotid IMT, which is a strong marker for the early development of atherosclerosis.


Carotid Intima-Media Thickness; Ultrasonography; Atherosclerosis; Body Mass Index; Risk Factors; Iraq.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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