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Hypertension. 2010 Mar;55(3):799-805. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.109.139964. Epub 2010 Jan 11.

Wave reflection and arterial stiffness in the prediction of 15-year all-cause and cardiovascular mortalities: a community-based study.

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Departments of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.


The value of increased arterial wave reflection, usually assessed by the transit time-dependent augmentation index and augmented pressure (Pa), in the prediction of cardiovascular events may have been underestimated. We investigated whether the transit time-independent measures of reflected wave magnitude predict cardiovascular outcomes independent of arterial stiffness indexed by carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity. A total of 1272 participants (47% women; mean age: 52+/-13 years; range: 30 to 79 years) from a community-based survey were studied. Carotid pressure waveforms derived by tonometry were decomposed into their forward wave amplitudes, backward wave amplitudes (Pb), and a reflection index (=[Pb/(forward wave amplitude+Pb)]), in addition to augmentation index, Pa, and reflected wave transit time. During a median follow-up of 15 years, 225 deaths occurred (17.6%), including 64 cardiovascular origins (5%). In univariate Cox proportional hazard regression analysis, pulse wave velocity, Pa, and Pb predicted all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in both men and women, whereas augmentation index, reflected wave transit time, and reflection index were predictive only in men. In multivariate analysis accounting for age, height, and heart rate, Pb predicted cardiovascular mortality in both men and women, whereas Pa was predictive only in men. Per 1-SD increment (6 mm Hg), Pb predicted 15-year cardiovascular mortality independent of brachial but not central pressure, pulse wave velocity, augmentation index, Pa, and conventional cardiovascular risk factors with hazard ratios of approximately 1.60 (all P<0.05). In conclusion, Pb, a transit time-independent measure of reflected wave magnitude, predicted long-term cardiovascular mortality in men and women independent of arterial stiffness.

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