Patients of South Asian and African descent are known to have a high cardiovascular risk. Increased arterial stiffness has been shown to be independently associated with cardiovascular risk and mortality, however, at present, few studies have investigated ethnic differences in aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV), as measure of arterial stiffness, in these groups. Therefore, we studied PWV in South Asians, Indonesians, Creoles and Maroons, living in Suriname, South America.Design and Method:
In a cross-sectional setting we selected a random representative sample of 864 participants living in an urban setting in Paramaribo, Suriname. We estimated the aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) non-invasively in the supine position by analysis of the oscillometric pressure curves registered on the upper arm, using the Arteriograph (TensioMed, Budapest, Hungary). We used the mean of two consecutive measurements for our analyses by age and ethnicity, and by blood pressure and ethnicity.Results:
We included 864 participants (mean age 44 years, 46% man, 41.2% hypertension, 12% hypercholesterolemia, 14.6% diabetes). The mean PWV value was 8.5 ± 2.4 m/s. The distribution of mean PWV values classified by age, ethnicity, and blood pressure are summarized in the Table.Conclusions:
We found relatively high mean PWV values across ethnic groups, compared to the mean values with optimal blood pressure, reflecting the high prevalence of hypertension and possible early vascular ageing in these groups with high cardiovascular risk.