Early arterial modifications in young patients with borderline hypertension

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Pulse wave velocity, used as an indicator of arterial distensibility, was recorded in 123 young male subjects, 63 untreated patients with borderline hypertension and 60 control subjects. The measurement was made with a continuous Doppler unit coupled to an ECG. In both groups mean age was similar, but mean arterial pressure was increased in borderline hypertensive compared with control patients. In comparison with controls, borderline hypertensives showed an increased pulse wave velocity. A significant correlation was observed between mean arterial pressure and pulse wave velocity in both populations, but the two regression lines were significantly different (covariance analysis). This result suggests that pulse wave velocity modifications in borderline hypertensives are not solely due to the elevated pressure, but also reflect structural or functional changes in the arterial tree

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