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Carotid ultrasound examination as an aging and disability marker.

Authors: Gladys G. Barrera, Daniel D. Bunout, María Pía MP. de la Maza, Laura L. Leiva, Sandra S. Hirsch
Published: 09/30/2013, Geriatrics & gerontology international


To explore the usefulness of carotid ultrasound examination as a marker of aging and predictor of disability among older people.


Carotid ultrasound, measuring carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) and recording the presence of plaques, was carried out in 152 adults aged 29-59 years (47 women) and in 107 older adults aged 61-88 years (86 women). In all, clinical routine laboratory parameters and lymphocyte telomere length as T/S ratio were measured. Among older adults, 12-min walk, timed up and go, hand grip and quadriceps strength were determined.


CIMT was significantly higher among older people and T/S ratio was significantly higher in young women. Carotid plaques were found in one adult and 17 older people. A multiple regression analysis accepted age, systolic blood pressure and T/S ratios as independent predictors of CIMT (R(2) = 0.51). Among older people, a logistic regression accepted age and the presence of carotid plaques as significant predictors of a 12-min walk speed below 1 m/s.


An abnormal 12-min walk as an indicator of functional decline among older people is associated with the presence of carotid artery plaques. CIMT is independently associated with age.

© 2013 Japan Geriatrics Society.
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