Normative and mean carotid intima-media thickness values according to metabolic syndrome in Koreans: The Namwon Study


      • We identified the gender- and age-specific normative carotid artery IMT values.
      • The mean carotid IMT values were presented according to the metabolic syndrome and its components.
      • The carotid arterial age could be estimated with the percentile distributions of carotid IMT.



      We determined the gender- and age-specific normative values of carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in a healthy Korean population. We also present the mean age-specific carotid IMT values according to the presence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and the number of MetS components.


      A total of 9374 subjects from the Namwon Study aged 45–74 years were included in the analysis. Subjects without hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, obesity, and current smoking were classified as the healthy reference population (n = 2595). MetS was identified by the presence of three or more of the following five components: abdominal obesity, high triglycerides, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high fasting blood glucose. Common carotid artery IMT (CCA-IMT) and carotid bulb IMT values were determined in a region free of plaque by B-mode carotid ultrasonography.


      The mean normative CCA-IMT values of 45–49, 50–54, 55–59, 60–64, 65–69, and 70–74 year old males were 0.614, 0.671, 0.711, 0.759, 0.783, and 0.787 mm and 0.613, 0.653, 0.689, 0.718, 0.753, and 0.778 mm for females, respectively. An increase in CCA-IMT of 0.007 mm/year was estimated in both genders. The mean CCA-IMT values of subjects with 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 MetS components were 0.744, 0.753, 0.765, 0.766, 0.771, and 0.798 mm for males and 0.688, 0.705, 0.724, 0.734, 0.757, and 0.762 mm for females, respectively.


      The gender-specific normative carotid IMT values were determined in a large healthy Korean population. An increasing trend in the CCA-IMT values was observed with an increasing number of MetS components in both genders.


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