Skin Autofluorescence and Pentosidine Are Associated With Aortic Stiffening: The Maastricht Study

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Arterial stiffening, as characterized by an increase in carotid–femoral pulse-wave velocity or pulse pressure, increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially among individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Advanced glycation end products are hypothesized to play a role in the development of arterial stiffness. Therefore, we investigated the association between skin autofluorescence, an estimate of tissue advanced glycation end products, and plasma advanced glycation end products on the one hand and arterial stiffening on the other in 862 participants of The Maastricht Study (mean age of 60 years; 45% women) with normal glucose metabolism (n=469), impaired glucose metabolism (n=140), or type 2 diabetes (n=253). Associations were analyzed with linear regression analysis and adjusted for potential confounders. We found that higher skin autofluorescence as measured by the AGE Reader and plasma pentosidine were independently associated with higher carotid–femoral pulse-wave velocity (sβ 0.10; 95% confidence interval, 0.03–0.17 and 0.10; 0.04–0.16, respectively) and central pulse pressure (sβ 0.08; 95% confidence interval 0.01–0.15 and 0.07; 0.01–0.13, respectively). The associations between skin autofluorescence and pentosidine, and carotid–femoral pulse-wave velocity were more pronounced in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (P-interaction<0.10). These results support the hypothesis that accumulation of advanced glycation end products is involved in arterial stiffening and may explain part of the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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