Alessandro Guareschi, Marco Vicenzi, Margherita Calcagnino, Stefano Carugo, Angelo Scuteri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: The increase in stiffness of large arteries is one of the mechanisms that could play a role in the association between obesity and increased risk of cardiovascular (CV) events. Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) represents a validated measure of large arteries stiffness and a good proxy of arterial ageing. We aimed at evaluating which body composition parameters better correlated with cfPWV and whether this correlation differed between men and women. DESIGN AND METHOD: cfPWV was measured in all subjects; body composition was evaluated by bioimpedance analysis and waist circumference (W). Furthermore, each subject was characterized by sex, age, height, weight, body mass index (BMI), brachial blood pressure (BP) and heart rate. A linear correlation was used to define the relationship between cfPWV and parameters. Univariate and multivariate analysis were performed in male and female subgroup separately to select the main determinants of arterial stiffness, considering the following parameters: age, mean BP (mBP), BMI, W, fat mass (FM) and skeletal muscle mass (SMM). We enrolled 69 subjects (37 men, 32 women) with average age 34.5 years (min 19-max 76). RESULTS: cfPWV was significantly correlated with age (r = 0.65, p < .0001), and mBP (r = 0.38, p < .01). Among the body composition parameters, W, BMI and FM percentage were significantly correlated with cfPWV (respectively: r = 0.48, r = 0.42, r = 0.41; p < .0001). Multivariable regression analysis in men revealed that age and mBP were significant determinants of cfPWV (respectively: b = 0.042, p = 0.002; b = 0.051, p = 0.004). Conversely, multivariate analysis in women showed that age, FM and SMM are retained as main determinants of increased cfPWV (respectively: b = 0.079; p < 0.0001; b = 0.217, p = 0.012; b = 0.125, p = 0.011). CONCLUSIONS: Irrespectively of gender, age is the main determinant of arterial stiffness. Our results demonstrated that the relationship between adiposity and arterial stiffness is verified only in female subjects. This suggests that this relationship is influenced by complex and not fully known mechanisms. Moreover, technical factors (algorithm and indirect methods to assess body composition) contribute to uncertainty regarding which parameter exploring adiposity is more accurate in stratifying CV risk. The present study recalls attention on possible gender-specific determinants of arterial ageing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e205-e206
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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