Although orthostatic hypotension (OH) and orthostatic hypertension (OHT) can independently predict cardiovascular events, the underlying mechanisms remain controversial. Our study aimed to examine the relationships between orthostatic blood pressure (BP) changes and arterial stiffness.
In this cross-sectional analysis, 1820 participants were divided into three groups according to BP changes within 3 min of orthostatism: the OH group had a decrease of >20 mmHg in SBP or >10 mmHg in DBP, the OHT group had an increase of ≥20 mmHg in SBP, and the orthostatic normotensive (ONT) group had normal changes. Arterial stiffness was assessed by measuring the carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV).
OH and OHT were observed in 257 (14.1%) and 62 (3.4%) participants, respectively. Subjects in the OH group were significantly older, were more likely to have hypertension and diabetes, and had higher cfPWV than those in the ONT group (P < 0.05); however, no differences were found between the ONT and OHT groups. Stepwise multiple regression analysis of the subgroups stratified by hypertension and diabetes revealed that age was related to increased cfPWV in all stratifications, and the change in SBP was significantly positively correlated with cfPWV in hypertensive subjects; however, this association was not observed in nonhypertensive subjects.
We found that arterial stiffness was closely related to OH but not to OHT. In addition to expanding current knowledge of the relationship between orthostatic BP changes and arterial stiffness, our study underlines the importance of age, SBP changes, and hypertension in evaluating arterial stiffness.