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Am J Hypertens. 2002 Jan;15(1 Pt 1):16-23.

Correlates of aortic stiffness in elderly individuals: a subgroup of the Cardiovascular Health Study.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health, PA 15261, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Arterial stiffness has been associated with aging, hypertension, and diabetes; however, little data has been published examining risk factors associated with arterial stiffness in elderly individuals.

METHODS:

Longitudinal associations were made between aortic stiffness and risk factors measured approximately 4 years earlier. Aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV), an established index of arterial stiffness, was measured in 356 participants (53.4% women, 25.3% African American), aged 70 to 96 years, from the Pittsburgh site of the Cardiovascular Health Study during 1996 to 1998.

RESULTS:

Mean aortic pulse wave velocity (850 cm/sec, range 365 to 1863) did not differ by ethnicity or sex. Increased aortic stiffness was positively associated with higher systolic blood pressure (SBP), age, fasting and 2-h postload glucose, fasting and 2-h insulin, triglycerides, waist circumference, body mass index, truncal fat, decreased physical activity, heart rate, and common carotid artery wall thickness (P < .05). After controlling for age and SBP, the strongest predictors of aortic stiffness in men were heart rate (P = .001) and 2-h glucose (P = .063). In women, PWV was positively associated with heart rate (P = .018), use of antihypertensive medication (P = .035), waist circumference (P = .030), and triglycerides (P = .081), and was negatively associated with physical activity (P = .111). Results were similar when the analysis was repeated in nondiabetic individuals and in those free of clinical or subclinical cardiovascular disease in 1992 to 1993.

CONCLUSIONS:

In these elderly participants, aortic stiffness was positively associated with risk factors associated with the insulin resistance syndrome, increased common carotid intima-media thickness, heart rate, and decreased physical activity measured several years earlier.

PMID:
11824854
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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