Investigating Endothelial Microparticles as Early Markers of Vascular Disease in Obese Latino Youth with Prediabetes

Project: Research


  • Erica Soltero (PI)


Pediatric obesity and related health disparities represent some of the most significant public health challenges facing society. Latino adolescents are disproportionately impacted by obesity, contributing to increased prevalence of prediabetes and metabolic syndrome. Obesity and the associated hyperglycemia induce endothelial dysfunction and increase the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The atherosclerotic process leading to vascular disease begins in childhood; however, there is a need for markers of vascular damage that are proximal to the early atherosclerotic process (i.e. endothelial dysfunction). Endothelial microparticles (EMPs) are novel biomarkers, directly linked to vascular damage in the earliest stage of CVD pathogenesis. While it is known that obese youth exhibit endothelial dysfunction, very few studies have examined the role of EMPs in cardiometabolic risk in youth. Thus, little is known regarding the impact of obesity and hyperglycemia on EMP enumeration in youth. Lifestyle intervention is the first-line approach for improving endothelial function, yet no study has investigated the impact of a lifestyle intervention on EMPs in obese, Latino adolescents. Therefore, the proposed study will investigate the role of hyperglycemia on EMPs in obese Latino youth and will test the impact of a 6-month lifestyle intervention, as compared to a usual care control group, on EMP enumeration in obese, Latino youth with prediabetes. This study will leverage the resources and infrastructure of an ongoing NIH-funded (R01DK107579) randomized-controlled trial aimed at testing a diabetes prevention program among obese Latino adolescents with prediabetes. The proposed study will expand the parent study by incorporating EMPs as novel markers of endothelial dysfunction. Identifying and intervening on endothelial dysfunction early in life during the subclinical phase is an important step forward in the primary prevention of CVD. These findings will advance the science on EMPs and will inform future strategies and interventions aimed at reversing endothelial dysfunction and preventing subsequent CVD.
Award amount$104,060.00
Award date07/01/2018
Program typePostdoctoral Fellowship
Award ID18POST33990036
Effective start/end date07/01/201808/12/2019