Introduction Impaired lung function has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease outcomes, mortality and sub-clinical disease including increased carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) and carotid plaques. However few population-based studies have investigated the association between lung function and cIMT in young adults.
Objective To investigate the associations of lung spirometric measures with cIMT in healthy young Australian men and women.
Methods Data were collected from a population-based sample of 872 males and 792 non-pregnant females (aged 26–36 years). The associations of adult Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) and Forced Expiratory Volume (FEV1) with cIMT were investigated using partial correlation.
Results The mean cIMT values (SD) were 0.581 (0.099) and 0.553 (0.080) mm for non-smoking, and 0.575 (0.097) and 0.567 (0.099) mm for smoking males (n=187) and females (n=161) respectively. Significant negative associations of FEV1 (ρ=−0.100 p=0.012) and FVC (ρ=−0.087 p=0.029) with cIMT were observed for non-smoking females after adjustment for age, height, asthma, blood pressure, weight, percentage body fat and fitness. In males there was also a negative association of FVC with cIMT in non-smokers (ρ=−0.076 p=0.058) and with FEV1/FVC in smokers (ρ=−0.196 p=0.009). These associations were independent of C reactive protein and blood lipids. No significant associations were observed for female smokers.
Conclusion In this sample of healthy young men and women airway obstruction was associated with higher cIMT in male smokers. However in non-smoking men and women, FVC was also associated with higher cIMT independently of other cardiovascular disease risk factors.
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