Author(s): WillumHansen T
BACKGROUND: Few population studies addressed the prognostic significance of aortic pulse wave velocity (APWV) above and beyond other cardiovascular risk factors.
METHODS AND RESULTS: We studied a sex- and age-stratified random sample of 1678 Danes aged 40 to 70 years. We used Cox regression to investigate the prognostic value of APWV, office pulse pressure (PP), and 24-hour ambulatory PP while adjusting for mean arterial pressure (MAP) and other covariates. Over a median follow-up of 9.4 years, the incidence of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular end points, cardiovascular mortality, and fatal and nonfatal coronary heart disease amounted to 154, 62, and 101 cases, respectively. We adjusted for sex, age, body mass index, MAP measured in the office (conventional PP and APWV) or by ambulatory monitoring (24-hour PP), smoking, and alcohol intake. With these adjustments, APWV maintained its prognostic significance in relation to each end point (P<0.05), whereas office and 24-hour PP lost their predictive value (P>0.19), except for office PP in relation to coronary heart disease (P=0.02). For each 1-SD increment in APWV (3.4 m/s), the risk of an event increased by 16% to 20%. In sensitivity analyses, APWV still predicted all cardiovascular events after standardization to a heart rate of 60 beats per minute, after adjustment for 24-hour MAP instead of office MAP, and/or after additional adjustment for the ratio of total to HDL serum cholesterol and diabetes mellitus at baseline.
CONCLUSIONS: In a general Danish population, APWV predicted a composite of cardiovascular outcomes above and beyond traditional cardiovascular risk factors, including 24-hour MAP.