Pulse Wave Velocity Predicts the Progression of Blood Pressure and Development of Hypertension in Young Adults

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The aim of the present study was to examine whether pulse wave velocity (PWV) predicts the progression of blood pressure and the development of hypertension in young adults. In addition, we studied whether PWV improves the risk prediction of incident hypertension beyond traditional cardiovascular risk factors. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures were measured in 2007 and 2011 for 1449 Finnish adults (aged 30–45 years). In addition, PWV and other cardiovascular risk factors were measured in 2007. The association between PWV (in 2007) and blood pressure (in 2011) was studied in the whole population (n=1449) and in a normotensive subpopulation (n=1183). The ability of PWV measured in 2007 to predict incident hypertension in 2011 was investigated in the subpopulation (n=1183). PWV measured in 2007 was directly and independently associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressures measured in 2011 (P<0.001 for both). PWV measured in 2007 was also an independent predictor of incident hypertension in 2011 (odds ratio, 1.96 per 1-SDincrease; 95% confidence interval, 1.51–2.57; P<0.001). The extended prediction model (including PWV) improved the incident hypertension risk prediction beyond traditional cardiovascular risk factors, the area under receiver operating characteristics curve being 0.833 versus 0.809 (P=0.040), and the continuous net reclassification improvement 59.4% (P<0.001). These findings suggest that PWV predicts the progression of blood pressure and could provide a valuable tool in hypertension risk prediction in young adults.

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