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Increased carotid intima–media thickness in healthy young subjects with a parental history of hypertension (parental hypertension and vascular health)
  1. Sergio Cuomo1,
  2. Giovanni Gaeta2,
  3. Pasquale Guarini3,
  4. Georgio Tudisca2,
  5. Mario De Michele4,
  6. M Gene Bond5,
  7. Maurizio Trevisan6
  1. 1Department of Cardiology, SUN, Monaldi Hospital, and Cardiology, Cardarelli Hospital, Napoli, Italy
  2. 2Department of Cardiology and Clinical Analysis Laboratory, Cardarelli Hospital, Napoli, Italy
  3. 3Department of Cardiology, Clinica Villa dei Fiori, Acerra, Italy
  4. 4Department of Cardiology, S G Moscati Hospital, Aversa, Italy
  5. 5Division of Vascular Ultrasound Research, Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, North Carolina, USA
  6. 6University at Buffalo, School of Public Health and Health Professions, Buffalo, NewYork, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr M Trevisan
    University at Buffalo, School of Public Health and Health Professions, Kimball Tower, Room 435, 3435 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214-2034, USA; trevisan{at}

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Preclinical abnormalities are detectable in young normotensive individuals with a positive parental history of hypertension (PHH).1 Increased carotid intima–media thickness (IMT) is considered an early and valuable predictor of atherosclerotic disease; however, information on the effect of PHH on potential vascular structural abnormalities in young normotensive healthy subjects is limited.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of carotid structural differences in normotensive young adults and children with and without PHH.


The study population comprised 29 cases (healthy subjects with PHH, 45% males, mean (SD) age 23 (5) years) consecutively recruited among the offspring (age 11–30 years) of patients with essential hypertension who had been followed at the Hypertension Outpatient Clinic of the Department of Cardiology, Cardarelli Hospital of Naples, Italy. Parental hypertension was defined as a blood pressure of at least 140/90 mm Hg, measured on three different days in the supine position by sphygmomanometry. The control group consisted of 29 age-matched (+1 year) and sex-matched healthy subjects without PHH (parents not on antihypertensive drugs and blood pressure values <140/90 mm Hg at repeated examinations); they were offspring of patients admitted to the same hospital for a wide spectrum of acute illnesses unrelated to essential hypertension or hospital workers.

To minimise the confounding effects of other known cardiovascular risk factors, we excluded individuals with a parental history of coronary, cerebral or peripheral arterial disease and/or diabetes mellitus. The …

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  • Funding: None.

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Disclaimers: None.

    The study protocol was approved by the local committee on ethical practice (Antonio Cardarelli Hospital Ethics Committee, Azienda Ospedaliera di Rilievo Nazionale A Cardarelli, Via A Cardarelli 9, 80131 Napoli, Italy). Written informed consent was obtained from each subject and/or their parents.