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Atherosclerosis. 2007 Dec;195(2):e190-4. Epub 2007 Aug 3.

Relationship between aortic atherosclerosis and non-invasive measures of arterial stiffness.

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State University of New York, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY 11203-2098, USA.


Both increased arterial stiffness and atherosclerosis are risk factors for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. We studied the relationship between aortic atherosclerosis, assessed by measuring maximal aortic intima-media thickness (MAIMT) on transesophageal echocardiography and aortic stiffness, measured by applanation tonometry. Eighty-one patients (28 men, 53 women, mean age 61+/-13 years) referred for transesophageal echocardiography were studied. Augmentation index (AI) and carotid-radial pulse (PWV) wave velocity were measured using a SphygmoCor tonometer (Atcor Med., Australia). MAIMT was correlated with AI and age (r=0.35, p=0.002 and r=0.36, p=0.001), respectively. There were no relations between MAIMT and either aortic pulse pressure (A-PP) (r=0.10, p=0.35) or PVW (r=-0.38, p=0.76). Multivariate regression analysis revealed that AI and age were independently related to MAIMT. In this middle-aged predominantly African-American population structural aortic atherosclerosis and aortic stiffness as measured by AI are age dependent and are inter-related, independent of age.

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