Abstract. Jensen-Urstad K, Johansson J, Jensen-Urstad M (Karolinska Institute at Sodersjukhuset, Research Centre of General Medicine, and Huddinge University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden). Vascular function correlates with risk factors for cardiovascular disease in a healthy population of 35-year-old subjects.
Objective: To investigate whether, in a healthy, randomly selected population of 35-year-old menand women, there is a relation between vascular function and conventional risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as gender, smoking, elevated blood-lipids, high blood pressure and heredity for cardiovascular disease, and to blood glucose.
Design: Basal brachial artery diameter was measured. Endothelial function was measured as flow mediated dilation (FMD) in response to reactive hyperaemia. The nonendothelial dependent dilation was measured after sublingual nitro-glycerine (NTG).
Setting: A research centre of general medicine and a university hospital.
Subjects: One hundred men and 100 women all 35 years old, were invited by letter. Sixty-six of the 92 men (72 %) living in the community and 74 of the 88 women (84%) participated.
Results: Gender had the largest innuence on FMD and NTG induced arterial dilation, probably reflecting NTG induced dilation is inversely related to basal vessel size (r = -0.55, P < 0.001 and r = -0.40, P < 0.001). In women basal vessel diameter was positively correlated to blood glucose (r = 0.35, P = 0.009) and BMI (r = 0.34, P = 0.012) and negatively correlated to HDL cholesterol (r = -0.43, P = 0.001). FMD and NTG induced arterial dilation correlated with a combined risk factor score (r = -0.32, P = 0.019 and r = -0.31, P = 0.024). The men with the highest risk factor scores had larger vessel size and higher blood flow at rest compared to men without risk factors (4.8 kO.6 mm, 240f 84 mL min-‘ and4.0+0.8 111111,139 k 72 mL min-’, respectively, P = 0.014 and P = 0.016). FMD or NTG induced dilation did not correlate to any of the risk factors in men.
Conclusions: There are correlations between vascular reactivity and risk factors for MD in women and correlations between vessel diameter and risk factors for MD in both men and women already in a healthy population 3 5-year-old subjects. Further studies are needed to determine if the vessel diameter in itself, in a healthy population, is a sign of attenuated endothelial function.