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Vasc Med. 2007 Aug;12(3):183-8.

The influence of obesity on arterial compliance in adult men and women.

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Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA.


The objective of this study was to determine whether differences in large and small arterial compliance existed among normal weight, overweight, and obese older men and women, and whether large and small arterial compliance were associated with abdominal, hip, and subcutaneous fat distribution. A total of 134 individuals who were 40 years of age and older (age = 62 +/- 11 years; mean +/- SD) were grouped into normal weight (BMI: 18.5-24.9 kg/m2; n = 33), overweight (BMI: 25.0-29.9 kg/m2; n = 48), or obese (BMI: > or =30.0 kg/m2; n = 53) categories. The hemodynamic and arterial compliance measurements were obtained using the HDI/PulseWave CR-2000 CardioVascular Profiling System (Hypertension Diagnostics, Inc). Body mass index, nine-site sum of skinfolds, and circumference measures around the hip and waist were used for analysis. Large and small arterial compliance was lower (p < 0.001) in the obese group (12.4 +/- 4.8 ml/mmHg x 10 vs 4.6 +/- 2.5 ml/mmHg x 100, respectively) than the normal weight (16.2 +/- 4.9 ml/mmHg x 10 vs 5.5 +/- 2.7 ml/mmHg x 100) and overweight (15.2 +/- 4.3 ml/mmHg x 10 vs 5.0 +/- 2.2 ml/mmHg x 100) groups. This difference remained (p < 0.001) after adjusting for body surface area, sex, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension. Additionally, large arterial compliance correlated (p < 0.05) with sum of skinfolds (r = - 0.209), while small arterial compliance correlated with hip circumference (r = - 0.189). Arterial compliance measures were not related (p > 0.05) to waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio. In conclusion, obesity was associated with a decrease in large and small arterial compliance independent of conventional risk factors. Additionally, subcutaneous fat and fat around the hips were inversely related to arterial compliance.

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