Arterial stiffness is considered one of the earliest detectable measures of vascular damage. This study examined direct (pulse wave velocity [PWV]) and indirect (pulse pressure [PP], ambulatory arterial stiffness index [AASI]) measures of arterial stiffness in terms of their association with anthropometric variables and other indices of preclinical target-organ damage in young individuals.Design and method:
Apparently healthy adolescents and young adults (age 12–26 years) referred for elevated blood pressure (BP) and healthy volunteers were subjected to: (i) 24-hour ambulatory peripheral (pBP) and central blood pressure (cBP) monitoring using a noninvasive brachial cuff-based oscillometric device (Mobil-O-Graph 24 h PWA); (ii) assessment of 24-hour ambulatory PWV monitoring using the same device; (iii) echocardiographic determination of left ventricular mass index (LVMI); (iv) measurement (ultrasonography) of the common carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT).Results:
Data from 79 subjects were analyzed (mean age 18.5 ± 4.8 [SD] years, 61 males, body mass index [BMI] 24.5 ± 5.5 kg/m2, 24 volunteers, 19 with elevated ambulatory pBP [24-hour pBP >=95th percentile for adolescents or >=130/80 mmHg for adults]). Hypertensive compared to normotensive subjects presented higher values of PWV (5.5 ± 0.4 vs. 4.9 ± 0.2 m/sec), cAASI (0.61 ± 0.23 vs. 0.44 ± 0.27), pAASI (0.57 ± 0.13 vs. 0.46 ± 0.18), cPP (41.7 ± 6.3 vs. 36.5 ± 4.7 mmHg) and pPP (58.2 ± 6.7 vs. 50.9 ± 6.8 mmHg) (all p < 0.05 after adjustment for age and gender). The main correlations of the arterial stiffness indices are shown in Table. LVMI was associated with both PWV and cPP, whereas cIMT was associated with PWV, cAASI, and both cPP and pPP.Conclusions:
These data suggest that in young individuals PWV is the best index for the evaluation of arterial stiffness, whereas the usefulness of AASI is rather questionable.