Scientists determined two factors of vascular aging CF-PWV and CAVI. Both of these parameters determine arterial stiffness, the main indicator of vascular aging, with high precision. However, they are influenced by age and certain metabolism abnormalities in different ways.
The study is expected to help cardiologists find effective diagnostic methods for individual patients. In young people, large vessels such as the aorta and its main branches normally have elastic walls. With aging, the walls of the arteries accumulate collagen, which increases their stiffness one of the key indicators of vascular aging.
Stiff vessel walls, unlike the elastic walls of young arteries, do not stretch and fail to slow down the flow of blood from the heart. The study was published in the Journal of Hypertension.
Arterial pressure builds up, and the shock wave from blood burst damages both the arteries and small vessels that transfer blood to the most important internal organs, including the kidneys and the brain. Therefore, increased arterial stiffness is associated with a high risk of death from cardiovascular diseases.
Pulse Wave Velocity
Pulse wave velocity (PWV) is the gold standard of arterial stiffness measurement. It is determined along the distance from the common carotid artery to the femoral artery. The higher the PWV, the stiffer the aorta. The main disadvantage of this method is that it is dependent on the blood pressure levels, and therefore may be distorted by fluctuations.
Cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) has no such limitations. This index is relatively independent of the level of blood pressure and allows researchers to assess stiffness of a more general territory than CF-PWV. Another advantage of this method is its simplicity.
The scientists compared two parameters in the participants and found that CAVI provides additional information on the state of vessel walls. Therefore, the new parameter may be used in clinical practice along with CF-PWV.
Another important goal of the work was to assess the influence of age and metabolic syndrome on the CAVI and CF-PWV readings. Metabolic syndrome is a very important issue in public health care. It is diagnosed when abdominal obesity (with fat deposits around the abdomen and waist) is combined with increased blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar.
These four symptoms (obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia and impaired glucose levels) have been known as the "the deadly four." Together, they significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and death.
Metabolic syndrome was observed in 1,560 out of 2,224 patients during the initial examination. This diagnosis is associated with an increase in CF-PWV levels: Its average value was 8.65 m/s in the group without metabolic syndrome and 9,57 m/s in the patients with it.
During the next stages of the study, the scientists expect to find out why metabolic syndrome can change these indicators of arterial stiffness differently and to determine the practical value of these changes.
Accelerated Vascular Aging
Accelerated vascular aging is one of the key risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. There are different techniques to identify early vascular aging by evaluating arterial stiffness and the age of the arteries. An optimal method can be selected for each patient to monitor the changes.
Vessels age prematurely due to arterial hypertension, abdominal obesity, and impairment of lipid and glucose levels. If we learn about these changes in time, they could develop effective treatment and prevent serious complications.