Background and aim: Leptin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) have been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between serum leptin, IGF-1 and intima-media thickness (IMT) and functions of common carotid artery (CCA) in children and adolescent patients with type 1 diabetes. Material and methods: Serum leptin and IGF-1 levels were measured in 45 diabetic patients (23 girls and 22 boys). Age, diabetes duration as well as major cardiovascular risk factors, including anthropometric and metabolic parameters, were matched between girls and boys. The relation of serum leptin and IGF-1 levels to CCA structure and functions were measured by ultrasonography as IMT, cross-sectional compliance (CSC), cross-sectional distensibility (CSD), diastolic wall stress (DWS) and incremental elastic modulus (IEM). Results: Serum leptin levels of diabetic girls were higher than those in the boys (21.8 +/- 14.5 mug/l vs 8.9 +/- 10.6 mug/l, p = 0.002). However, the difference for serum IGF-1 levels was not significant between diabetic girls and boys (240.7 +/- 96.8 ng/ml vs 234.7 +/- 93.2 ng/ml; p > 0.05). In all subjects, leptin levels were correlated with CSC (p = 0.04), CSD (p = 0.04) and IEM (p = 0.01), and IGF-I levels were only correlated with CSC (p = 0.01). Leptin did not show any correlation with ultrasonographic measurements in both girls and boys separately. IGF-1 was correlated with CSC (p = 0.001), CSD (p = 0.002) and IEM (p < 0.001) in boys but not in girls. In a multivariate regression model, IGF-1 emerged as independent correlates for mean CSD and IEM in boys but not in girls.