Carotid artery elasticity has become a commonly assessed non-invasive marker of arterial health that is relatively easy to administer. Indeed, the loss of elastic properties within the larger and more elastic arteries like the carotid artery contributes substantially to the increase in systolic blood pressure as well as pulse pressure, which are known independent risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Such risk factors can lead to compensatory remodeling of the carotid artery and nearby arterial beds, as well as create synergistic detriments to the arterial tree in the presence of other risk independent risk factors. Decreased carotid arterial elasticity and increased stiffness has been reported with advanced aging in both men and women; however, little research has examined artery elasticity measures by sex in otherwise healthy young adults, as well as children and adolescents. The purpose of the following dissertation was to examine the potential influences of sex, pubertal development, and age, on measures of carotid arterial elasticity in otherwise healthy children, adolescents, and adults, to lend further insight to the already existing body of research surrounding arterial elasticity and stiffness. Additionally, a separate study was further employed using HMG coenzyme A reductase inhibitors, or statins, to assess whether individuals at increased risk of CVD like childhood cancer survivors could potentially benefit from the known therapeutic effects of statins and subsequently improve carotid artery elasticity and stiffness. Given vascular dysfunction is considered an early manifestation of atherosclerosis, potential therapeutic remedies that dampen cardiovascular risk in populations that are at increased risk for vascular dysfunction are critical to explore.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2015. Major: Kinesiology. Advisors: Donald Dengel, Aaron Kelly. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 121 pages.
CAROTID ARTERY ELASTICITY: Describing Elasticity in Healthy Children and Adults, and the Use of Atorvastatin to Modulate Elasticity in Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer.
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