Carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) is significantly elevated in children with mild to moderate chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to study findings published online in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The study, which included 101 children aged 2-18 years who had a median glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of 42.9 mL/min/1.73 m2, found that the median cIMT in these patients was 0.43 mm compared with 0.41 mm in healthy controls, pediatric nephrologist Tammy Brady, MD, MHS, of Johns Hopkins Children Center in Baltimore, and colleagues reported.

The children with CKD also had a high prevalence of other cardiovascular risk factors, with dyslipidemia and hypertension significantly associated with increased cIMT (0.05 mm and 0.04 mm greater mean cIMT, respectively). Body mass index, CKD etiology, GFR, birth weight, pubertal status, calcium, phosphorus, sex, and race were not associated with cIMT.

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“Untreated hypertension and high cholesterol increase the risk for long-term vascular damage in any child, but in a child with kidney disease they can wreak much more serious havoc,” Dr. Brady said in a Johns Hopkins press release.