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Aortic stiffness is associated with increased cardiovascular mortality. However, the determinants of aortic stiffness progression are not fully established. This study evaluated the predictive value of blood pressure (BP) response to cold pressor test (CPT) in the progression of carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) in men and women.A total of 408 individuals (165 men, 243 women) from Vitoria, Brazil, underwent BP evaluation, clinical and laboratorial investigations, and CPT and PWV assessment. Five years later, the studied individuals were re-evaluated, except for the CPT.In men, 5-year PWV change correlated inversely with baseline PWV (P < 0.001) and directly with BP response to CPT (P < 0.05) and 5-year BP change (P < 0.05). In women, 5-year PWV change correlated inversely with baseline PWV (P < 0.001) and directly with age (P < 0.01), glycemia (P < 0.05) and 5-year BP change (P < 0.05) but not with BP response to CPT. Further linear regression analysis showed that 5-year PWV change was associated with baseline PWV, systolic BP response to CPT, and 5-year systolic BP change in men and with baseline PWV, age, glycemia, and 5-year systolic BP change in women.BP response to CPT was a predictor of PWV progression in men after 5 years of follow-up. These findings provide further insights into the pathophysiologic mechanisms of arterial stiffness, suggesting that elevated sympathetic reactivity may be a predisposing factor for future increases in aortic stiffness, at least in men.