The PORT-VASPh Cohort was designed to contribute to a better understanding of vascular function in children and adolescents, mostly focusing PWV and other complementary aspects of arterial hemodynamics. This analysis is aimed at identifying the main determinants of PWV in this population.
The PORT-VASPh cohort is a prospective and observational study, with 953 children and adolescents enrolled, 40% females, age ranging from 5 to 17 years (mean age: 12.08 ± 2.92 years), mean body mass index (BMI) of 18.96 ± 3.26 kg/m2. The overall health profile for each participant was defined based on three clinical evaluations, in which blood pressure (BP) was measured under standard conditions over the brachial artery with a clinically validated automatic sphygmomanometer (OMRON 705IT) and an appropriately sized cuff. Gender-specific percentiles were used for the definition of the individual BP phenotype. Carotid-femoral PWV was measured to all participants at the third clinical evaluation, with the Complior SP device, complying with the methodological recommendations. All participants were evaluated by the same experienced clinician.
Mean PWV was 6.20 ± 0.95 m/s, and was higher in males compared with females (6.31 ± 0.97 m/s versus 6.02 ± 0.89, respectively; p < 0.0001). PWV was also significantly higher in hypertensives (Ht), in overweight participants and in those with a family history of cardiovascular disease. The determinants of PWV were assessed through linear regression. In a univariable analysis, age, gender, BMI, mean blood pressure (MBP), and family history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) were significantly associated with PWV. In a multivariable model, BMI lost its association with PWV. All the remaining variables maintained a significant association with PWV, as depicted in table 1.
In children and adolescents, aortic PWV is strongly influenced by age, gender, BP and genetics, in line with the available evidences in adult populations. Further studies are needed towards a thorough understanding of the arterial dynamics at these ages.
1Clínica da Aveleira, Coimbra, Portugal
2Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra - Coimbra Health School, Coimbra, Portugal