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J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2013 Dec;15(12):880-7. doi: 10.1111/jch.12178. Epub 2013 Aug 7.

Relationship between inter-arm difference in systolic blood pressure and arterial stiffness in community-dwelling older adults.

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  • 1Longitudinal Studies Section, Translational Gerontology Branch, NIA/NIH, Baltimore, MD; Laboratory of Cardiovascular Sciences, Human Cardiovascular Studies Unit, NIA/NIH, Baltimore, MD; Department of Internal Medicine, University of Genova, Genova, Italy.


A significant inter-arm difference in systolic blood pressure (IADSBP) has recently been associated with worse cardiovascular outcomes. The authors hypothesized that part of this association is mediated by arterial stiffness, and examined the relationship between significant IADSBP and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (CF-PWV) in a sample from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Of 1045 participants, 50 (4.8%) had an IADSBP ≥10 mm Hg at baseline, and 629 had completed data from ≥2 visits (for a total of 1704 visits during 8 years). CF-PWV was significantly higher in patients with an IADSBP ≥10 mm Hg (7.3±1.9 vs 8.2±2, P=.002). Compared with others, patients with IADSBP ≥10 mm Hg also had higher body mass index, waist circumference, and triglycerides; higher prevalence of diabetes; and lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (P<.001 for all). A significant association with IADSBP ≥10 mm Hg was observed for CF-PWV in both cross-sectional (odds ratio [OR], 1.19; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-1.87; P=.01) and longitudinal (OR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.03-1.29; P=.01) multivariate analyses. Female sex, Caucasian race, high body mass index (plus diabetes and low HDL cholesterol only cross-sectionally) were other independent correlates of IADSBP ≥10 mm Hg. Significant IADSBP is associated with increased arterial stiffness in community-dwelling older adults.

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