Arterial stiffness and SBP variability in children and adolescents

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The aim of this study was to explore the impact of ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) parameters on arterial stiffness measured by carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity (cf-PWV) in children and adolescents.


The study population consisted of 138 consecutive young patients (age range 4–20 years) referred to our hypertension center. Office blood pressure (BP), 24-h ABP monitoring and cf-PWV measurements were performed in all patients. Family history and smoking habits were also recorded.


Among the study population, 10.6% had cf-PWV values equal to or higher than the 95th percentile of the study population. cf-PWV was higher in the hypertensive compared to the normotensive patients, classified by ABP levels even after adjustment for age and sex. Significant correlations were found between cf-PWV and age, weight, height, estimated central pulse pressure (PP), office SBP and DBP, and ABP parameters including 24-h SBP and DBP, weighted 24-h SBP variability, 24-h SBP and DBP load, 24-h mean arterial pressure (MAP), daytime and night-time SBP, daytime and night-time SBP variability, but not with office and 24-h heart rate, 24-h heart rate variability, 24-h daytime and night-time PP, DBP variability, ambulatory arterial stiffeness index and BMI z-score. In analysis of covariance, only weighted 24-h SBP variability (β = 0.28, P < 0.05) and daytime SBP variability (β = 0.15, P < 0.05) were the independent determinants of cf-PWV in children and adolescents.


These data may suggest that increased SBP variability is closely associated with arterial stiffness in children and adolescents.

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