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Vascular disturbances have been associated with increased cardiovascular risk. Measure of arterial stiffness is a useful and noninvasive method of identifying potential cardiovascular risk in humans.[1] Evidence suggests that increased arterial stiffness can independently predict cardiovascular abnormalities in both healthy adults[2-4] and individuals presenting with clinical or metabolic disturbances.[5-7] Early detection of arterial stiffness is a valuable method of predicting cardiovascular risk and it could be used to screen patients[8] in clinical practice. Although arterial stiffness has been suggested to be an independent marker in identifying cardiovascular risk, further detailed investigations could be carried out to complement and confirm the findings. Based on the evidence from the literature, including our own pilot study,[9] subsequent studies in this area should certainly take into consideration several confounding factors when analyzing the results. According to the literature, several factors might affect arterial stiffness, such as age, body weight, smoking, alcohol consumption, hypertension, cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations, glucose levels, hypothyroidism, and heart failure.[8] Therefore, arterial stiffness as a single method may not provide a definitive diagnostic to clinicians with regards to endothelial inflammation but could be suitable as an early marker for cardiovascular risk. Hence, we would recommend that the practitioner test other inflammatory markers if early diagnosis of arterial stiffness has indicated an individual to be at risk for developing cardiovascular disease.

References

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  2. References
  • 1
    Laurent S, Cockcroft J, Van Bortel L, et al. Expert consensus document on arterial stiffness: methodological issues and clinical applications. Eur Heart J. 2006;27:25882605.
  • 2
    Sutton-Tyrrell K, Najjar SS, Boudreau RM, et al. Elevated aortic pulse wave velocity, a marker of arterial stiffness, predicts cardiovascular events in well-functioning older adults. Circulation. 2005;111:33843390.
  • 3
    Willum-Hansen T, Staessen JA, Torp-Pedersen C, et al. Prognostic value of aortic pulse wave velocity as index of arterial stiffness in the general population. Circulation. 2006;113:664670.
  • 4
    Mattace-Raso FU, van der Cammen TJ, Hofman A, et al. Arterial stiffness and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: the Rotterdam study. Circulation. 2006;113:657663.
  • 5
    Boutouyrie P, Tropeano AI, Asmar R, et al. Aortic stiffness is an independent predictor of primary coronary events in hypertensive patients: a longitudinal study. Hypertension. 2002;39:1015.
  • 6
    Cruickshank K, Riste L, Anderson SG, et al. Aortic pulse-wave velocity and its relationship to mortality in diabetes and glucose intolerance: an integrated index of vascular function? Circulation. 2002;106:20852090.
  • 7
    Shoji T, Emoto M, Shinohara K, et al. Diabetes mellitus, aortic stiffness, and cardiovascular mortality in end-stage renal disease. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2001;12:21172124.
  • 8
    Albu A, Fodor D, Bondor C, et al. Arterial stiffness, carotid atherosclerosis and left ventricular diastolic dysfunction in postmenopausal women. Eur J Intern Med. 2012 Dec 28 [Epub ahead of print].
  • 9
    Pal S, Radavelli-Bagatini S. Association of arterial stiffness with obesity in Australian women: a pilot study. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2013;15:118123.