Metabolic Predictors of Change in Vascular Function: Prospective Associations From a Community-Based Cohort

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Vascular function varies with age because of physiological and pathological factors. We examined relations of longitudinal change in vascular function with change in metabolic traits. Longitudinal changes in vascular function and metabolic traits were examined in 5779 participants (mean age, 49.8±14.5 years; 54% women) who attended sequential examinations of the Framingham Offspring, Third Generation, and Omni-1 and Omni-2 cohorts. Multivariable regression analysis related changes in vascular measures (dependent variables), including carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (CFPWV), forward pressure wave amplitude, characteristic impedance, central pulse pressure, and mean arterial pressure (MAP), with change in body mass index, fasting total:high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio, serum triglycerides, and blood glucose. Analyses accounted for baseline value of each vascular and metabolic measure, MAP change, and multiple comparisons. On follow-up (mean, 5.9±0.6 years), aortic stiffness (CFPWV, 0.2±1.6 m/s), and pressure pulsatility (forward pressure wave, 1.2±12.4 mm Hg; characteristic impedance, 23±73 dyne×sec/cm5; central pulse pressure, 2.6±14.7 mm Hg; all P<0.0001) increased, whereas MAP fell (−3±10 mm Hg; P<0.0001). Worsening of each metabolic trait was associated with increases in CFPWV and MAP (P<0.0001 for all associations) and an increase in MAP was associated with an increase in CFPWV. Overall, worsening metabolic traits were associated with worsening aortic stiffness and MAP. Opposite net change in aortic stiffness and MAP suggests that factors other than distending pressure contributed to the observed increase in aortic stiffness. Change in metabolic traits explained a greater proportion of the change in CFPWV and MAP than baseline metabolic values.

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