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Keywords:

  • arterial stiffness;
  • small artery and arteriole;
  • allostatic load;
  • psychosocial stress;
  • cardiovascular health

Abstract

A novel index of finger arterial stiffness (FSI) was tested in terms of the relationship with risk markers for preclinical cardiovascular disease. In addition, we examined if the association between psychosocial factors and FSI was explained by allostatic load markers in 37 healthy young men aged 24.8 ± 4.0 years. The FSI was devised based on an exponential model of the finger arterial pressure-volume relationship. The allostatic load index (ALI) as a cumulative risk marker was defined by the mean of standard scores for nine variables: resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure, waist/hip ratio, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), total cholesterol/HDL-C ratio, triglycerides, hemoglobin A1c, insulin resistance, and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP). Partial correlations controlling for age were significant for FSI with HDL-C (r = −.36), CRP (r = .39), ALI (r = .40), unhealthy overall eating habits (r = .34), hostility using the Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire (r = .38), and manageability in Sense of Coherence (r = −.38). In conclusion, FSI seems to be associated with vascular proinflammation as well as with overall physiological dysregulation and allostatic load. These associations were moderated by eating lifestyle and psychosocial stress.