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Hypertension. 2004 Feb;43(2):176-81. Epub 2003 Dec 29.

Increased central artery stiffness in impaired glucose metabolism and type 2 diabetes: the Hoorn Study.

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Institute for Cardiovascular Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Impaired glucose metabolism (IGM) and type 2 diabetes (DM-2) are associated with high cardiovascular disease risk. Increases in peripheral and central artery stiffness may represent pathophysiologic pathways through which glucose tolerance status leads to cardiovascular disease. Peripheral artery stiffness increases with deteriorating glucose tolerance status, whereas this trend remains unclear for central artery stiffness. Therefore, we investigated the associations between glucose tolerance status and estimates of central arterial stiffness. We performed a population-based study of 619 individuals (normal glucose metabolism, n=261; IGM, n=170; and DM-2, n=188) and assessed central artery stiffness by measuring total systemic arterial compliance, aortic pressure augmentation index, and carotid-femoral transit time. After adjustment for sex, age, heart rate, height, body mass index, and mean arterial pressure, DM-2 was associated with decreased total systemic arterial compliance, increased aortic augmentation index, and decreased carotid-femoral transit time. IGM was borderline significantly associated with decreased total systemic arterial compliance. Respective regression coefficients (95% confidence intervals) for IGM and DM-2 compared with normal glucose metabolism were -0.05 (-0.11 to 0.01) and -0.13 (-0.19 to -0.07) mL/mm Hg for total systemic arterial compliance; 1.1 (-0.2 to 2.5) and 1.6 (0.2 to 3.0) percentage points for aortic augmentation index; and -0.85 (-5.20 to 3.49) and -4.95 (-9.41 to -0.48) ms for carotid-femoral transit time. IGM and DM-2 are associated with increased central artery stiffness, which is more pronounced in DM-2. Deteriorating glucose tolerance is associated with increased central and peripheral arterial stiffness, which may partly explain why both DM-2 and IGM are associated with increased cardiovascular risk.

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