Researchers from A.O.U. in Cagliari Sardegna, Italy seem to have hit upon a link between diabetes and hypertension and increased carotid artery wall thickness (or, CAWT). CAWT is known to cause heart attack and stroke.
During the study, the researchers looked at 186 patients with the help of multidetector row CT and sought to determine association between CAWT is associated with cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia and a history of smoking.
The results showed that there is a statistically significant relationship between diabetes and hypertension.
"There was no significant statistical correlation between the increase of carotid wall thickness, smoking and dyslipidemia," said Dr Luca Saba, lead author of the study.
"Our group demonstrated that the presence of CAWT greater than 1mm in patients with diabetes or hypertension is strongly correlated with a risk to suffer a stroke. Patients at higher risk should be monitored every 12 months.
"The detection and evaluation of CAWT together with the study of other cardiovascular factors allows for improvement in patient follow up and risk stratification.
"Imaging as part of the diagnostic process and management of patients with high cardiovascular risks is important," he added.
The study will be presented at the 2009 ARRS Annual Meeting in Boston.