Body Silhouette Trajectories Across the Lifespan and Vascular Aging: The Paris Prospective Study 3

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Vascular aging is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease and can be quantified by higher carotid stiffness, intima-media thickness and diameter, and hypertension. Weight gain across the lifetime may be an important, modifiable determinant of vascular aging. We therefore aimed to assess lifetime body silhouette trajectories (a marker of weight change across the lifespan) in relation to vascular aging in late adulthood. We used cross-sectional data from a community-based cohort study (n=8243; age, 59.4; 38.7% women). A linear mixed model was used to assess trajectories of recalled body silhouettes from age 8 to 45 years. We assessed carotid artery properties (ultrasonography), resting hypertension (blood pressure ≥140/90 mm Hg or use of antihypertensives), and exaggerated exercise blood pressure, a marker of masked hypertension (systolic blood pressure ≥150 mm Hg during submaximal exercise) at study recruitment when the participants were 50 to 75 years of age. We identified 5 distinct body silhouette trajectories: lean stable (32.0%), lean increase (11.1%), moderate stable (32.5%), lean-marked increase (16.3%), and heavy stable (8.1%). Compared with individuals in the lean-stable trajectory, those in the moderate-stable, lean-marked increase, and heavy-stable trajectories had higher carotid stiffness, intima-media thickness and diameter (odds ratios between 1.23 and 2.10 for highest quartile versus lowest quartile of manifestations of vascular aging; P<0.05) and were more likely to have resting hypertension and exaggerated exercise blood pressure, after adjustment for potential confounders (odds ratios between 1.31 and 1.60; P<0.05). Vascular aging was most prominent among individuals who were lean in early life but markedly gained weight during young adulthood and among those who were heavy in early life and maintained weight.

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