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Open Access Open Badges Original investigation

Gender difference in carotid intima-media thickness in type 2 diabetic patients: a 4-year follow-up study

Bo Zhao1, Yanping Liu1, Yifei Zhang2, Yuhong Chen2, Zhifang Yang1, Ying Zhu1 and Weiwei Zhan1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Ultrasonography, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University Medical School, 197 Ruijin 2nd Road, Shanghai, 200025, People's Republic of China

2 Shanghai Clinical Center for Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases and Division of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases of E-Institutes of Shanghai Universities, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, 197 RuiJin 2nd Road, Shanghai, 200025, People's Republic of China

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Cardiovascular Diabetology 2012, 11:51  doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-51

Published: 14 May 2012



Different population studies have reported gender difference in carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), which is proved to be a risk factor of cardiovascular diseases. However, few longitudinal researches examine this gender difference in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients. Therefore, we prospectively analyzed CIMT in T2DM patients over a 4-year follow-up period.


355 T2DM patients (mean age 59 years; 54.9% women) were included in the present study. CIMT were measured using Color Doppler ultrasound. CIMT was measured at baseline (CIMT) in 2006 and at follow-up in 2010. Biochemical and clinical measurements were collected at baseline.


Mean value of CIMT1 and CIMT2 were 0.740 ± 0.148 mm and 0.842 ± 0.179 mm, respectively. Men had higher CIMT than women both at baseline and at follow-up (CIMT1: 0.762 ± 0.149 vs 0.723 ± 0.146 mm, P = 0.0149; CIMT2: 0.880 ± 0.189 vs 0.810 ± 0.164 mm, P = 0.0002). Mean annual progression of CIMT (dCIMT) was 0.025 ± 0.022 mm/year. dCIMT was larger in men than in women (0.030 ± 0.025 vs 0.022 ± 0.019 mm, P = 0.0006). In multiple regression analyses, age was an independent risk factor of CIMT in both genders, while dCIMT was associated with age only in men.


Gender difference in CIMT was confirmed in T2DM patients. Moreover, impact of ageing on CIMT progression only existed in men, which might be the reason that gender difference in CIMT increased with age.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Intima-media thickness; Gender difference