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Am J Hypertens. 2011 Jun;24(6):667-73. doi: 10.1038/ajh.2011.19. Epub 2011 Feb 17.

Brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity predicts increase in blood pressure and onset of hypertension.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Enshu Hospital, Hamamatsu, Japan.



The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) predicts longitudinal increases in blood pressure (BP) and new onset of hypertension in individuals with normal BP.


baPWV was measured using a semiautomated device in 2,496 participants (27-84 years) without hypertension who visited our hospital for a yearly health check-up. They were followed up for 4 years with the endpoint being development of hypertension.


During the follow-up period (median, 733 days; actual follow-up, 5,215 person-years), hypertension developed in 698 participants (133.8/1,000 person-years). Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that risk for hypertension was increased across the tertiles of baseline baPWV. The hazard ratio (first tertile as reference) was 2.02 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.55-2.64) and 3.49 (95% CI 2.66-4.57) in the second and third tertiles, respectively, after adjustment for possible risk factors. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression analysis adjusted for known risk factors, where baPWV was used as a continuous variable, also indicated that the baseline value of baPWV independently predicted new onset of hypertension (P < 0.001). Furthermore, baseline baPWV was significantly associated with a longitudinal increase in BP after adjustment for known risk factors in multiple regression analysis (P < 0.001).


This study provides the first evidence that baPWV is an independent predictor of longitudinal increases in BP as well as of new onset of hypertension.

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