Objectives Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality are closely associated with hypertension, however, predictors of incident hypertension have not been fully established. We have conducted a study aimed at evaluating whether brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) is a predictor of incident hypertension. Methods The relation between baPWV, a noninvasive index of aortic stiffness, and incident hypertension was evaluated in a cohort of 2,278 Japanese normotensive male subjects with a follow-up of 3 years. Results Of the 2, 278 study participants, 151 (6.6%) had incident hypertension during the follow-up. After adjustment for variables, including age, gender, body mass index (BMI), smoking habit, alcohol consumption, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, family history of hypertension, heart rate, systolic blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride, and fasting plasma glucose, multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that baPWV was a significant and independent predictor of incident hypertension with an adjusted odds ratio 1.45 (95% confidence interval 1.17-1.79, <\0.01). In addition, baPWV values >1,380 cm/s indicated a high risk for incident hypertension. Conclusions Among the Japanese normotensive male subjects participating in this study, BaPWV was a significant and independent predictor of incident hypertension. This result suggests that BaPWV could be a useful screening method to identify normotensive individuals who should be targeted for interventions aimed at preventing the incident hypertension.
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