At present, brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) can be measured easily and noninvasively. We studied the correlation between aortic damage estimated by baPWV and that determined by measuring the length of abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) on X-ray films, which parameter has been significantly associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. baPWV was measured using the form PWV/ankle brachial index (ABI) device in 97 patients free of end-stage renal failure or peripheral arterial disease. baPWV correlated significantly with age (r2=0.625, p<0.0001), was significantly higher in hypertensives than in normotensives (2,109±67 vs. 1,623±93 cm/s, p<0.0001), and correlated significantly with systolic blood pressure (r2=0.64, p<0.0001) and diastolic blood pressure (r2=0.397, p<0.0001). baPWV was significantly higher in diabetic patients than in nondiabetics (2,068±73 vs. 1,813±97 cm/s, p<0.05), but was similar in normolipidemic and hyperlipidemic patients. baPWV did not correlate with body mass index, fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol or triglyceride levels, but correlated significantly with AAC length (r2=0.599, p<0.0001). Multiple regression analysis indicated that age, systolic blood pressure and AAC length were independent determinants of baPWV. Our results indicate that baPWV is useful for estimating aortic damage and could be a potentially useful predictor of vascular morbidity and mortality.
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