Objective Increased arterial pulse wave velocity (PWV) is a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality. The most prevalent index for assessing arterial stiffness is currently recognised as carotid-femoral PWV (cfPWV). Brachial ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) is a relatively new non-invasive measure of arterial stiffness obtained using an automated system, which has a close correlation with cfPWV. However, the prognostic significance of this measure is not fully established. The Objective of our study is to determine whether baPWV is a predictor of CVD and stroke in the general population.
Methods 502 subjects (aged 40–80 years) were sequentially recruited between June and December 2010, classical cardiovascular risk factors and baPWV were determined simultaneously. Data were available on 464 subjects, with a median follow up of 24.5 months. The primary end points were CVD and stroke. All subjects were divided into high and low baPWV groups according to the median value (1750, cm/s).
Results Subjects in the high baPWV group were older and had higher blood pressure, lower body mass index, faster heart rate, higher fasting glucose, total cholesterol and higher ratio of smoking history compared with those in the low baPWV group. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was performed to compute hazard ratios. During the follow-up period, 10 cardiovascular events and 18 stroke were observed. After adjustment for age, gender and traditional cardiovascular risk factors, Hazard ratios and corresponding 95%CIs of CVD and stroke and stroke+CVD for subjects in the high baPWV group were 1.34 (0.65 to 3.10) and 1.92 (1.03 to 3.68) and 1.95 (1.05 to 3.87) compared with subjects in the low baPWV group, respectively.
Conclusions The present study revealed that baPWV, a marker for arterial stiffness, can be an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease and stroke in the general population.