Arterial stiffening is considered a marker of biological aging as well as a determinant of cardiovascular risk, hypertension development and total mortality. Arterial stiffening has been shown to be associated with several cardiovascular risk-factors, however the effect of adverse social factors and associated lifestyle on arterial stiffness has not been well examined. The aim of this project was to examine these potential associations.Design and method:
This cross-sectional study recruited individuals from the ”Malmo Diet and Cancer” (MDC) study, a population-based cohort in Malmo, Sweden. The examination included a questionnaire regarding occupation, education, stress, physical activity, smoking and alcohol consumption. Arterial stiffness was measured as cartotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (c-f PWV) by use of applanation tonometry (SphygmoCor ®, Atcor Medical, Australia). In total, 1512 men and 2189 woman were included in the analyses (mean age 72 years). Multiple regressions were performed with c-f PWV as a dependent variable and stepwise adjustment for age, heart rate, and mean arterial pressure (Model 1), with additional adjustments for body mass index and anti-hypertensive drug medication (Model 2).Results:
Markers significantly associated with c-f PWV after adjustment in model 1 were for men: regular physical activity (β = −0.12, p = 0.01), constant stress during the last year (β = 0.06, p = 0.03) and former smoking (β = 0.09, p = 0.04), for women: constant stress during the last five years (β = 0.05, p = 0.03), regular physical activity (β = −0.07, p = 0.04), abstaining from alcohol (β = 0.06, p = 0.001), and moderate alcohol consumption (β = −0.1, p = 0.001).Results:
Following further adjustment in Model 2, constant stress during the last five years (women) and regular physical activity (women), former smoking (men) lost significance, otherwise the significances remained.Results:
Abstaining from alcohol and moderate alcohol consumption among women in Model 1 were the only significant markers after further Bonferroni correction.Conclusions:
Arterial stiffness is associated with some markers of self-reported lifestyle. Stress, former smoking (men) and abstaining from alcohol (women) were associated with arterial stiffness while there were negative associations for physical activity and moderate alcohol consumption (women). These results need to be validated in future studies as most of them did not reach statistical significance after Bonferroni correction.