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Heart 99:1837-1842 doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2013-304739
  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Original article

Relationship between flow-mediated vasodilation and cardiovascular risk factors in a large community-based study

Open Access
  1. Yukihito Higashi3,4
  1. 1Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Hiroshima University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima, Japan
  2. 2Department of Medicine and Molecular Science, Hiroshima University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima, Japan
  3. 3Department of Cardiovascular Regeneration and Medicine, Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan
  4. 4Division of Regeneration and Medicine, Hiroshima University Hospital, Hiroshima, Japan
  5. 5Hirohsima International University, Hiroshima, Japan
  6. 6The Second Department of Internal Medicine, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo, Japan
  7. 7Division of Biomedical Engineering, National Defense Medical College Research Institute, Tokorozawa, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Professor Yukihito Higashi, Department of Cardiovascular Regeneration and Medicine, Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine, Hiroshima University, 1-2-3 Kasumi, Minami-ku, Hiroshima 734-8551, Japan; yhigashi{at}hiroshima-u.ac.jp
  • Received 30 July 2013
  • Revised 11 September 2013
  • Accepted 12 September 2013
  • Published Online First 23 October 2013

Abstract

Objective To determine the relationships between flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) and cardiovascular risk factors, and to evaluate confounding factors for measurement of FMD in a large general population in Japan.

Methods This was a cross-sectional study. A total of 5314 Japanese adults recruited from people who underwent health screening from 1 April 2010 to 31 August 2012 at 3 general hospitals in Japan. Patients’ risk factors (age, Body Mass Index, blood pressure, cholesterol parameters, glucose level and HbA1c level) and prevalence of cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease) were investigated.

Results Univariate regression analysis revealed that FMD correlated with age (r=−0.27, p<0.001), Body Mass Index (r=−0.14, p<0.001), systolic blood pressure (r=−0.18, p<0.001), diastolic blood pressure (r=−0.13, p<0.001), total cholesterol (r=−0.07, p<0.001), triglycerides (r=−0.10, p<0.001), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (r=0.06, p<0.001), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (r=−0.04, p=0.01), glucose level (r=−0.14, p<0.001), HbA1c (r=−0.14, p<0.001), and baseline brachial artery diameter (r=−0.43, p<0.001) as well as Framingham Risk score (r=−0.29, p<0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed that age (t value=−9.17, p<0.001), sex (t value=9.29, p<0.001), Body Mass Index (t value=4.27, p<0.001), systolic blood pressure (t value=−2.86, p=0.004), diabetes mellitus (t value=−4.19, p<0.001), smoking (t value=−2.56, p=0.01), and baseline brachial artery diameter (t value=−29.4, p<0.001) were independent predictors of FMD.

Conclusions FMD may be a marker of the grade of atherosclerosis and may be used as a surrogate marker of cardiovascular outcomes. Age, sex, Body Mass Index, systolic blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, smoking and, particularly, baseline brachial artery diameter are potential confounding factors in the measurement of FMD.

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