Aortic stiffness and blood pressure variability in young people: a multimodality investigation of central and peripheral vasculature

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Abstract

Introduction:

Increased blood pressure (BP) variability is a cardiovascular risk marker for young individuals and may relate to the ability of their aorta to buffer cardiac output. We used a multimodality approach to determine relations between central and peripheral arterial stiffness and BP variability.

Methods:

We studied 152 adults (mean age of 31 years) who had BP variability measures based on SD of awake ambulatory BPs, 24-h weighted SD and average real variability (ARV). Global and regional aortic distensibility was measured by cardiovascular magnetic resonance, arterial stiffness by cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) and pulse wave velocity (PWV) by SphygmoCor (carotid–femoral) and Vicorder (brachial–femoral).

Results:

In young people, free from overt cardiovascular disease, all indices of SBP and DBP variability correlated with aortic distensibility (global aortic distensibility versus awake SBP SD: r = −0.39, P < 0.001; SBP ARV: r = −0.34, P < 0.001; weighted 24-h SBP SD: r = −0.42, P < 0.001). CAVI, which closely associated with aortic distensibility, also related to DBP variability, as well as awake SBP SD (r = 0.19, P < 0.05) and weighted 24-h SBP SD (r = 0.24, P < 0.01), with a trend for SBP ARV (r = 0.17, P = 0.06). In contrast, associations with PWV were only between carotid–femoral PWV and weighted SD of SBP (r = 0.20, P = 0.03) as well as weighted and ARV of DBP.

Conclusion:

Greater BP variability in young people relates to increases in central aortic stiffness, strategies to measure and protect aortic function from a young age may be important to reduce cardiovascular risk.

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