Ethnic differences regarding arterial stiffness of 6‐8‐year-old black and white boys

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Vascular deterioration is suggested to occur earlier in black than white populations, thereby increasing their risk for developing hypertension. To establish whether this is the case, we compared different estimates of arterial stiffness in black and white children and investigated the links with body composition and advanced glycation end products (AGEs) as potential contributors.


We included 40 black and 41 white boys (aged 6‐8 years) from similar schools and measured arterial stiffness [pulse wave velocity (PWV) in different arterial sections, systemic arterial compliance and carotid stiffness estimates], anthropometry as well as urinary pentosidine as a marker of AGEs.


Black boys displayed increased PWV [carotid-to-radial (P = 0.002), carotid-to-femoral (P < 0.0001) and carotid-to-dorsalis pedis (P = 0.008)], DBP (P = 0.001) and carotid intima–media thickness (P = 0.007) than white boys. Despite higher pentosidine in black boys (P = 0.039), arterial stiffness indices did not correlate with pentosidine in any group. However, only in black boys, pentosidine correlated negatively with BMI (P = 0.015), BSA (P = 0.017), weight (P = 0.018), waist (P = 0.022) and hip circumference (P = 0.010). Arterial stiffness indices related inversely to body composition in white boys, but femoral PWV correlated inversely with BMI (r = −0.32; P = 0.049) in black boys.


Already at very young ages (6‐8 years), with a high proportion of prehypertension, black boys in our study have increased arterial stiffness in all sections of the arterial tree, along with higher DBP, carotid intima–media thickness and AGEs. This phenotype underlines the increasing trend of early-onset vascular aging among black populations.

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