Association of serum lipids with arterial stiffness in a population-based study in Beijing


Ping Ye, MD, Department of Geriatric Cardiology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China. Tel.: 86 10 66876369; fax: 86 10 66876349; e-mail:


Eur J Clin Invest 2011; 41 (9): 929–936


Background  Some cardiovascular risk factors such as age, hypertension and diabetes have been confirmed to be positively correlated with arterial stiffness. However, the relationship between serum lipids and arterial stiffness is incompletely understood. Recent studies have been far from conclusive and consistent data were not obtained. We investigated the relationship between serum lipids and pulse wave velocity (PWV) in community-dwelling individuals in Beijing, China.

Methods  This was a population-based, cross-sectional sample of adults (n = 2375; 48·1% men; age range, 40–96 years) from two communities in Beijing. A questionnaire was used for the risk factors of arterial stiffness. Anthropometry, blood pressure and heart rate were measured. Values of fasting plasma glucose (FPG), serum total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and uric acid were measured. Carotid–femoral PWV (cfPWV) and carotid–radial PWV (crPWV) were assessed non-invasively.

Results  Carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity was significantly positively related to TC (r = 0·221; P < 0·0001), LDL-C (r = 0·193; P < 0·0001) and inversely related to HDL-C (= −0·240; P < 0·0001), but not with TG (r = 0·073; P = 0·6721). crPWV was inversely related to HDL-C (r = −0·272; P < 0·0001), but not with TC (r = 0·007; P = 0·4781), LDL-C (r = 0·021; P = 0·6393) or TG (r = 0·008; P = 0·2498). The multiple regression analysis showed that LDL-C was independently associated with cfPWV and that HDL-C was inversely associated with cfPWV and crPWV. TC and TG were not independently related to cfPWV and crPWV.

Conclusions  These data show the correlation between some of the parameters of serum lipids and arterial stiffness. LDL-C was independently associated with aortic stiffness, and HDL-C was independently inversely associated with aortic stiffness and peripheral stiffness.