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ISSN: 1734-1922
Archives of Medical Science
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vol. 12
Clinical research

Effect of comprehensive cardiovascular disease risk management on longitudinal changes in carotid artery intima-media thickness in a community-based prevention clinic

Henry G. Cheng
Birju S. Patel
Seth S. Martin
Michael Blaha
Amy Doneen
Brad Bale
Steven R. Jones

Arch Med Sci 2016; 12, 4: 728–735
Online publish date: 2016/07/01
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Introduction: The aim of the study was to examine changes in carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) and carotid plaque morphology in patients receiving multifactorial cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor management in a community-based prevention clinic. Quantitative changes in CIMT and qualitative changes in carotid plaque morphology may be measured non-invasively by ultrasound.

Material and methods: This is a retrospective study on a cohort of 324 patients who received multifactorial cardiovascular risk reduction treatment at a community prevention clinic. All patients received lipid-lowering medications (statin, niacin, and/or ezetimibe) and lifestyle modification. All patients underwent at least one follow-up CIMT measurement after starting their regimen. Annual biomarker, CIMT, and plaque measurements were analyzed for associations with CVD risk reduction treatment.

Results: Median time to last CIMT was 3.0 years. Compared to baseline, follow-up analysis of all treatment groups at 2 years showed a 52.7% decrease in max CIMT, a 3.0% decrease in mean CIMT, and an 87.0% decrease in the difference between max and mean CIMT (p < 0.001). Plaque composition changes occurred, including a decrease in lipid-rich plaques of 78.4% within the first 2 years (p < 0.001). After the first 2 years, CIMT and lipid-rich plaques continued to decline at reduced rates.

Conclusions: In a cohort of patients receiving comprehensive CVD risk reduction therapy, delipidation of subclinical carotid plaque and reductions in CIMT predominantly occurred within 2 years, and correlated with changes in traditional biomarkers. These observations, generated from existing clinical data, provide unique insight into the longitudinal on-treatment changes in carotid plaque.

carotid intima-media thickness, cardiovascular disease, vascular disease, lipid, cholesterol, statin

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