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Clin Geriatr Med. 2009 May;25(2):191-205. doi: 10.1016/j.cger.2009.01.001.

Arterial compliance in the elderly: its effect on blood pressure measurement and cardiovascular outcomes.

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  • 1Renal Electrolyte and Hypertension Division, Department of Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 1 Founders Building, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


The loss of arterial compliance as a result of the aging of human vasculature is thought to contribute to the age dependent rise in isolated systolic hypertension, and is an independent predictor of all cause mortality and cardiovascular outcomes. In this article, the author's we begin by providing a brief historical perspective of the study of the pulse wave. The author's then review the physiology of the normal arterial system, the effects of aging on the arterial system and the different measures of arterial stiffness. Finally, the author's review the different studies that look at arterial stiffness in the elderly, its impact on hypertension and cardiovascular outcome, and what is currently known on how to prevent vascular stiffness.

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