Arterial stiffness and peripheral vascular resistance in offspring of hypertensive parents: influence of sex and other confounders

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Abstract

Aim:

Established essential hypertension is associated with increased arterial stiffness and peripheral resistance, but the extent of vascular changes in persons genetically predisposed for essential hypertension is uncertain.

Methods:

Participants from the Danish Hypertension Prevention Project (DHyPP) (both parents hypertensive) (n = 95, 41 ± 1 years, 53% men) were compared with available spouses (n = 45, 41 ± 1 years) using measurements of ambulatory blood pressure (BP), left ventricular mass index (LVMI), pulse wave velocity, central BP and augmentation index (AIx) in addition to forearm resting and minimal resistance [forearm resting vascular resistance (Rrest) and forearm minimal vascular resistance (Rmin)].

Results:

DHyPP patients with participating spouses had higher 24-h mean BP (94 ± 1 vs. 88 ± 1 mmHg, P < 0.01), LVMI (94 ± 3 vs. 80 ± 2 g/m2, P < 0.01), central SBP (121 ± 2 vs. 111 ± 2 mmHg, P < 0.01) and AIx (16.0 ± 1.2 vs. 10.5 ± 1.7%, P < 0.01), but similar carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity (7.5 ± 0.2 vs. 7.1 ± 0.2 m/s), Rrest (53 ± 3 vs. 51 ± 3 mmHg/ml/min/100 ml) and log Rmin (0.58 ± 0.02 vs. 0.55 ± 0.02 mmHg/ml/min/100 ml) when compared with spouses. Using multiple linear regression analysis (adjusting for sex, age, BMI, creatinine clearance and 24-h BP, heart rate and sodium excretion) AIx and LVMI remained elevated in DHyPP patients [4.2% (0.7; 7.7), P = 0.02 and 6.3 g/m2 (0.7; 11.9), P = 0.03]. For the entire DHyPP cohort AIx, Rrest and Rmin were higher in women than men (P < 0.01), and the same was true for AIx and Rmin among spouses (P < 0.05). Furthermore, AIx was linearly associated with Rrest and Rmin.

Conclusion:

Young to middle-aged individuals genetically predisposed for essential hypertension display increased AIx and LVMI, although vascular stiffness and peripheral resistance are still normal.

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