Is arterial stiffness ready for daily clinical practice?

Luc M Van Bortel
2006 Journal of Hypertension  
Arterial stiffness is associated with major cardiovascular risk factors such as age [1], hypertension [2], smoking [3], hypercholesterolemia [4,5], diabetes types I [6] and II [7], insulin resistance [8] and hyperhomocysteinemia [9] . The majority of these data come from observational cross-sectional studies. Although these type of studies can only show an association between arterial stiffness and the cardiovascular risk factor, the cardiovascular risk factor is likely to raise arterial
more » ... ise arterial stiffness. However, the likelihood of a causal relation is not always so clear. In this issue of the journal, Mattace-Raso et al. [10] describe an association between orthostatic hypotension and arterial stiffness. The question is whether orthostatic hypotension may be due to arterial stiffness or whether the association is a result of a common disease that leads to increased arterial stiffness and to autonomic nervous dysfunction. Although large artery stiffness has been associated with decreased baroreceptor activity [11] and autonomic dysfunction [12], it is not clear whether this is due to the mechanical properties of the vascular wall, mediating the transfer of transmural pressure, or to afferent and/or efferent autonomic dysfunction. Recently, new devices have been proposed to measure arterial stiffness based on pulse wave velocity. Some devices make use of measurements at upper and lower limbs and/or take height or seated height as the travel distance. They result in high pulse wave velocities (up to
doi:10.1097/01.hjh.0000199805.03058.78 pmid:16508572 fatcat:cyomo4wnorgobnqtzux5v2m7sa