Introduction The present study aimed to examine the epidemiological distribution and to develop the gender- and age-specific reference ranges of brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) in China.
Materials and Methods A total of 21, 094 subjects (15–92 years) were recruited in a cross-sectional study which was conducted from June 2007 to June 2008 in China. The population was divided into 3 clinical subgroups in our study: (1) Subgroup 1: subjects with atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases; (2) Subgroup 2: subjects with atherosclerotic risk factors; (3) Subgroup 3: “healthy subjects” without any atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases and atherosclerotic risk factors.
Results The average baPWV among subgroup 1 to 3 were 1,724.3±429.1, 1,603.5±358.8, and 1,389.9±288.4 cm/s, respectively. BaPWV as a variable was not fit of normal distribution in both genders. There was no significant difference between male and female for baPWV in subgroup 1 (p>0.05). While baPWV was higher in females than males in subgroup 2, it was lower in females than in males in subgroup 3 (all p<0.05). BaPWV was dramatically increased with age in both genders (all p for trend<0.05). The gender- and age-specified reference ranges for baPWV by percentiles in healthy subjects were presented in the study. The receiver operator characteristic curve demonstrated that a baPWV of 1,450 cm/s was useful to discriminate either cardiovascular diseases or atherosclerotic risk factors (sensitivity 62.1%, specificity 69.5%).
Conclusions We should combine the reference ranges and the cutoff value of baPWV to screen and prevent atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases in clinical practices.