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PLoS One. 2014 Nov 26;9(11):e113646. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113646. eCollection 2014.

Sex differences in flexibility-arterial stiffness relationship and its application for diagnosis of arterial stiffening: a cross-sectional observational study.

Author information

1
Faculty of Engineering, Osaka Institute of Technology, Osaka, Japan.
2
Faculty of Business, Sports Management Course, Hannan University, Osaka, Japan.
3
Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.
4
Faculty of Environmental Symbiotic Sciences, Prefectural University of Kumamoto, Kumamoto, Japan.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Arterial stiffness might be related to trunk flexibility in middle-aged and older participants, but it is also affected by age, sex, and blood pressure. This cross-sectional observational study investigated whether trunk flexibility is related to arterial stiffness after considering the major confounding factors of age, sex, and blood pressure. We further investigated whether a simple diagnostic test of flexibility could be helpful to screen for increased arterial stiffening.

METHODS:

According to age and sex, we assigned 1150 adults (male, n = 536; female, n = 614; age, 18-89 y) to groups with either high- or poor-flexibility based on the sit-and-reach test. Arterial stiffness was assessed by cardio-ankle vascular index.

RESULTS:

In all categories of men and in older women, arterial stiffness was higher in poor-flexibility than in high-flexibility (P<0.05). This difference remained significant after normalizing arterial stiffness for confounding factors such as blood pressure, but it was not found among young and middle-aged women. Stepwise multiple-regression analysis also supported the notion of the sex differences in flexibility-arterial stiffness relationship. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis revealed that cut-off values for sit-and-reach among men and women were 33.2 (area under the curve [AUC], 0.711; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.666-0.756; sensitivity, 61.7%; specificity, 69.7%) and 39.2 (AUC, 0.639; 95% CI, 0.592-0.686; sensitivity, 61.1%; specificity, 62.0%) cm, respectively.

CONCLUSION:

Our results indicate that flexibility-arterial stiffness relationship is not affected by BP, which is a major confounding factor. In addition, sex differences are observed in this relationship; poor trunk flexibility increases arterial stiffness in young, middle-aged, and older men, whereas the relationship in women is found only in the elderly. Also, the sit-and-reach test can offer a simple method of predicting arterial stiffness at home or elsewhere.

PMID:
25427157
PMCID:
PMC4245207
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0113646
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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