Projects per year
Aims: To assess the feasibility and reproducibility of non-invasive vascular assessment in a childhood population setting and identify the determinants of vascular phenotype in early life. Methods and results: We studied 7557 children (age 9.8–12.3 years) participating in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Six research technicians underwent a 5-month training protocol to enable study of brachial artery endothelial function by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) and arterial stiffness by carotid to radial pulse wave velocity (PWV) and brachial distensibility [distensibility coefficient (DC)]. Reproducibility studies were performed at the beginning, the middle, and the end of the study. A blinded repeat evaluation of a random selection of 3% of the cohort was also undertaken throughout the study. The effect of anthropometric and environmental factors on each measure was examined. Successful measures were obtained in 88, 95, and 87% of the studied children for FMD, PWV, and DC, respectively. The coefficients of variation between technicians for FMD, PWV, and DC were 10.5, 4.6, and 6.6% at the beginning of the study and reached 7.7, 4.1, and 10% at the end. Baseline vessel diameter and gender were important determinants of all the vascular measures, with a small effect of room and skin temperatures on FMD and PWV. Boys consistently had lower FMD and DC and higher PWV measures (P <0.01 for all). Conclusion: Reproducible, high-quality assessments of vascular structure and function in children can be made on a large scale in field studies by suitably trained non-specialist operators. This study provides an invaluable resource for assessing the impact of early influences, genetic, and environmental factors on arterial phenotype.
Donald, AE., Charakida, M., Falaschetti, E., Lawlor, D., Halcox, JP., Golding, J., Hingorani, AD., Davey Smith, G., & Deanfield, JE. (2010). Determinants of vascular phenotype in a large childhood population: the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). European Heart Journal, 31 (12), 1502 - 1510. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehq062