Determinants of aortic root dilatation and reference values among young adults over a 20-year period: Coronary artery risk development in young adults study

Academic Article


  • Aortic size increases with age, but factors related to such dilatation in healthy young adult population have not been studied. We aim to evaluate changes in aortic dimensions and its principal correlates among young adults over a 20-year time period. Reference values for aortic dimensions in young adults by echocardiography are also provided. Healthy Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study participants aged 23 to 35 years in 1990-1991 (n=3051) were included after excluding 18 individuals with significant valvular dysfunction. Aortic root diameter (ARD) by M-mode echocardiography at year-5 (43.7% men; age, 30.2±3.6 years) and year-25 CARDIA exams was obtained. Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed to assess associations of ARD with clinical data at years-5 and -25. ARD from year-5 was used to establish reference values of ARD in healthy young adults. ARD at year-25 was greater in men (33.3±3.7 versus 28.7±3.4 mm; P<0.001) and in whites (30.9±4.3 versus 30.5±4.1 mm; P=0.006). On multivariable analysis, ARD at year-25 was positively correlated with male sex, white ethnicity, age, height, weight, 20-year gain in weight, active smoking at baseline, and 20-year increase in diastolic, systolic, and mean arterial pressure. A figure showing the estimated 95th percentile of ARD by age and body surface area stratified by race and sex is provided. This study demonstrates that smoking, blood pressure, and increase in body weight are the main modifiable correlates of aortic root dilation during young adulthood. Our study also provides reference values for ARD in young adults.
  • Published In

  • Hypertension  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Teixido-Tura G; Almeida ALC; Choi EY; Gjesdal O; Jacobs DR; Dietz HC; Liu K; Sidney S; Lewis CE; Garcia-Dorado D
  • Start Page

  • 23
  • End Page

  • 29
  • Volume

  • 66
  • Issue

  • 1