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Atherosclerotic diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. This study aimed to investigate the predictors of brachial–ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) and carotid intima–media thickness (CIMT) progression in a Chinese cohort over a 12-year follow-up period and to determine whether these predictors differ by follow-up time.A total of 202 participants were recruited from a previously established cohort in Shaanxi Province, China. Both baPWV and CIMT were measured in 2013 and 2017. Multivariable regression was used to determine the predictors of CIMT and baPWV progression.Men had higher CIMT and baPWV and a higher rate of CIMT progression during two follow-ups than women. A 4-year change in SBP was associated with baPWV progression, whereas a 12-year change in DBP was associated with baPWV progression. The increased progression of baPWV presented a linear trend when subgrouping all the participants according to SBP and DBP changes over 4 and 12 years, respectively. In addition, heart rate (HR) change over 4 and 12 years was consistently associated with CIMT progression, and a linear trend was also seen when subgrouping the population.Our study demonstrated that SBP and DBP contributed differently in different stages to the progression of arterial stiffness in this Chinese cohort. Moreover, HR was consistently involved in the increased progression of CIMT in all periods. These findings underline the importance of early detection and control of blood pressure and resting HR for the prevention of arterial stiffness progression.