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Vascular Stiffness Precursor to Hypertension, Not Result

Last Updated: September 04, 2012.

Measures showing higher aortic stiffness and pressure pulsatility are precursors to, not a result of, incident hypertension, according to a study published in the Sept. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

TUESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Measures showing higher aortic stiffness and pressure pulsatility are precursors to, not a result of, incident hypertension, according to a study published in the Sept. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Bernhard M. Kaess, M.D., from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study in Massachusetts, and colleagues used data from the last two examination cycles (examination cycle 7: 1998 to 2001; examination cycle 8: 2005 to 2008) of a longitudinal community-based cohort study (the Framingham Offspring Study). Over a seven-year period, temporal relationships between blood pressure and three measures of vascular stiffness and pressure pulsatility were derived from arterial tonometry (carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity [CFPWV], forward wave amplitude [FWA], and augmentation index) in 1,759 participants (mean age, 60 years).

The researchers found that high FWA and CFPWV during examination cycle 7 correlated significantly with systolic blood pressure in examination cycle 8. Higher FWA, CFPWV, and augmentation index in examination cycle 7 correlated significantly with incident hypertension in examination cycle 8, in a model that included systolic and diastolic blood pressure and additional risk factors during cycle 7. In contrast, blood pressure in examination cycle 7 did not correlate with CFPWV in examination cycle 8. In models including blood pressure and tonometry measures collected in cycle 7, higher resting brachial artery flow and lower flow-mediated dilation in examination cycle 7 correlated with incident hypertension.

"Our findings support the notion that vascular stiffness is a precursor rather than the result of hypertension," the authors write.

One of the study authors owns Cardiovascular Engineering Inc.

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