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Arterial stiffness predicts stroke in patients with essential hypertension

12 Jun 2018

Arterial stiffness is an independent predictor of stroke in patients with essential hypertension, a Greek 8-year follow-up study has shown.

The study included 1,079 patients with essential hypertension (mean age, 55.8 years; office blood pressure [BP], 144/91 mm Hg). Arterial stiffness was evaluated by carotid to femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) using a computerized method, with patients classified into high (n=546) and low (533) PWV values based on the median of 8.1 m/sec. [Tsioufis KP, et al, ACC 2018, abstract 1170-424]

The incidence of stroke was 2.03 percent over the follow-up period. Compared with patients without stroke, those with stroke were older at baseline (age, 63 vs 55 years; p=0.012), had higher office systolic BP (155 vs 144 mm Hg; p=0.022), and more commonly had high PWV values (68 percent vs 42 percent; p=0.019). No significant difference was observed between patients with and without stroke with respect to baseline renal function and lipid levels.

PWV (hazard ratio [HR], 1.105; p=0.015) and baseline age (HR, 1.098; p=0.04), but not baseline office BP, were found to be independent predictors of stroke on multivariate Cox regression analysis.

According to the researchers, the findings support PWV as a potent prognosticator of cerebrovascular events in patients with essential hypertension. “PWV estimation is essential to improve risk stratification in hypertension,” they suggested.

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