Pediatric Cardiology

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 805–812 | Cite as

Modifiable Clinical Correlates of Vascular Health in Children and Adolescents with Dyslipidemia

  • David A. WhiteEmail author
  • Gautam M. Anand
  • Omar Qayum
  • Chizitam F. Ibezim
  • Ashley K. Sherman
  • Geetha Raghuveer
Original Article


Atherosclerosis promoting cardiovascular disease risk factors (CVDrf) are highly prevalent among youth in the U.S. Determining which standard modifiable clinical measures (SMCMs) has the greatest impact on vascular structure and function is valuable for the health care provider to help identify children at highest risk. The aim of this study was to determine modifiable outpatient clinical predictors of vascular health in youth with CVDrf. Children and adolescents with CVDrf (n = 120, 13.1 ± 1.9 years, 49% female) were recruited from a pediatric preventive cardiology clinic. The SMCMs included BMI z-score, waist-to-height ratio (WTHR), lipid panel, hemoglobin A1c, blood pressure (BP), presence of tobacco smoke exposure, and presence of hypertriglyceridemic waist (HTW) phenotype (triglycerides ≥ 110 mg/dL and waist circumference ≥ 90 percentile). Vascular function and structure were measured with pulse wave velocity (PWV), central systolic BP (CSP), augmentation index (AIx), and carotid artery intima-media thickness (cIMT). Sex and height specific z-scores for PWV, CSP, and cIMT were used. Multiple linear regression with backwards selection identified SMCMs which strongly predicted vascular function and structure. Among SMCMs, WTHR and HTW were the most frequent predictors of vascular function (PWV: R2 = 0.32; CSP: R2 = 0.35; AIx R2 = 0.13). Other predictors of vascular function included hemoglobin A1C, BP, and BMI z-score. Systolic BP and LDL cholesterol were predictors of vascular structure (cIMT: R2 = 0.14). The strongest predictors of vascular health in youth with CVDrf were related to measures of central obesity. Targeting these SMCM in lieu of vascular testing in outpatient clinic setting may be practical to identify children and adolescents at greatest risk for CVD.


Cardiovascular disease Preventive cardiology Modifiable risk factors Children and adolescents Vascular health 



Augmentation index


Body mass index


Cardiovascular disease risk factors


Carotid artery intima-media thickness


Central systolic pressure


Hemoglobin A1c


High density lipoprotein cholesterol


Hypertriglyceridemic waist phenotype


Low density lipoprotein cholesterol


Pulse wave velocity


Standard modifiable clinical measures


Waist-to-height ratio



Kathrine Berry Richardson Foundation internal research award from Children’s Mercy Hospital; and Sarah Morrison medical student research award from the University of Missouri Kansas City, School of Medicine funded this study. We would like to thank our patients who generously shared their time participating in this study.


This study was funded through an internal grant through The Children’s Mercy Hospital supported by the Katherine Berry Richardson Foundation. The study sponsor had no role in study design, data collection, data analysis, interpretation of the results, writing of the manuscript, decision to submit the manuscript, or journal choice.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All testing and procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of The Children’s Mercy Hospital and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. All parents of subjects completed an informed consent and subjects completed assent prior to any research-related procedures involved in this study. DW wrote the first draft and every subsequent draft of the manuscript. No honorarium, grant, or any other form of payment was provided to him for writing the manuscript.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Ward Family Heart CenterChildren’s Mercy HospitalKansas CityUSA
  2. 2.School of MedicineUniversity of Missouri Kansas CityKansas CityUSA
  3. 3.Division of Health Services and Outcomes ResearchChildren’s Mercy HospitalKansas CityUSA

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