Carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) is considered as a surrogate marker for cardiovascular disease (CVD). We determined the normative value of CIMT and correlates of CVD risk factors and Framingham risk score (FRS) in Korean rural middle-aged population. We measured CIMT with a B-mode ultrasonography in 1,759 subjects, aged 40 to 70 yr, in a population-based cohort in Korea. A healthy reference sample (n = 433) without CVD, normal weight and normal metabolic parameters was selected to establish normative CIMT values. Correlates between CIMT and conventional CVD risk factors were assessed in the entire population. Mean values of CIMT (in mm) for healthy reference sample aged 40-49, 50-59, and 60-70 yr were 0.55, 0.59, and 0.66 for men and 0.48, 0.55, and 0.63 for women, respectively. In multivariate regression analysis, CIMT was correlated with older age, higher BMI, male gender, higher LDL-cholesterol level and history of diabetes mellitus. The mean CIMT was also correlated with FRS in both gender (r2 = 0.043, P < 0.01 for men; r2 = 0.142, P < 0.01 for women). We identified normative value of CIMT for the healthy Korean rural middle-aged population. The CIMT is associated with age, obesity, gender, LDL-cholesterol, diabetes mellitus and FRS.
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