Racial Differences in Aortic Stiffness in Children

Wesley K. Lefferts, Jacqueline A. Augustine, Nicole L. Spartano, Nader H. Atallah-Yunes, Kevin S. Heffernan, Brooks B. Gump

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Objective To investigate racial differences in central blood pressure and vascular structure/function as subclinical markers of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in children. Study design This cross-sectional study recruited 54 African American children (18 female, 36 male; age 10.5 ± 0.9 years) and 54 white children (27 female, 26 male; age 10.8 ± 0.9 years) from the Syracuse City community as part of the Environmental Exposures and Child Health Outcomes study. Participants underwent blood lipid and vascular testing on 2 separate days. Carotid artery intima-media thickness and aortic stiffness were measured by ultrasonography and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, respectively. Blood pressure was assessed at the brachial artery and estimated in the carotid artery using applanation tonometry. Results African American children had significantly higher pulse wave velocity (4.8 ± 0.8 m/s) compared with white children (4.2 ± 0.7 m/s; P < .05), which remained significant after adjustment for confounding variables including socioeconomic status. African American children had significantly higher intima-media thickness (African American 0.41 ± 0.06, white 0.39 ± 0.05 mm), and carotid systolic blood pressure (African American 106 ± 11, white 102 ± 8 mm Hg; P < .05) compared with white children, although these racial differences were no longer present after covariate adjustments for height. Conclusions Racial differences in aortic stiffness are present in childhood. Our findings suggest that racial differences in subclinical cardiovascular disease occur earlier than previously recognized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-67
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • arterial stiffness
  • central blood pressure
  • pediatrics
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Racial Differences in Aortic Stiffness in Children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this