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Aortic pulse wave velocity as a marker of cardiovascular disease in subjects over 70 years old

Meaume, Sylviea; Rudnichi, Anniee; Lynch, Antonya; Bussy, Carolinea; Sebban, Claudeb; Benetos, Athanased; Safar, Michel E.c

Original paper: Haemodynamic aspects

Background Aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) is a significant and independent predictor of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in hypertensive subjects and in patients with end-stage renal disease, but its contribution to cardiovascular risk in subjects between 70 and 100 years old has never been tested.

Patients A cohort of 124 subjects (mean age: 87 ± 7 years) was studied in two geriatric departments in a Paris suburb. Together with sphygmomanometric blood pressure measurements, aortic PWV was measured using a validated automatic device.

Results Blood pressure, heart rate and body mass index, but not age, explained 48% of the PWV variability in this cohort. Furthermore, PWV was the major factor predicting the presence of CVD. The adjusted odds ratio was 17.44 (95% confidence intervals: 2.52–120.55). Antihypertensive drug therapy and low plasma albumin level had only an additive role. Blood pressure, particularly pulse pressure, had no predictive value.

Conclusion In 70–100-year-old subjects, aortic PWV is a strong independent marker of CVD, a finding that remains to be to confirmed by long-term longitudinal studies.

aGeriatric Departments and bPhysiology Department, Charles-Foix Hospital, Ivry-sur-Seine, cDepartment of Internal Medicine and dINSERM U337 , Broussais Hospital, Paris and eCo Source Outsourcing Services – COVANCE, Reuil-Malmaison, France.

Received 13 September 2000

Revised 6 December 2000

Accepted 12 January 2001

Sponsorship: This study was performed with the financial support of INSERM, Association Claude-Bernard and GPH-CV.

Correspondence and requests for reprints to Professeur Michel Safar, Médecine Interne 1, Hôpital Broussais, 96 rue Didot, 75674 Paris Cedex 14, France. Tel: 33 (1) 43 95 91 22; Fax: 33 (1) 45 43 38 94; e-mail:

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.