Pulse pressure in childhood predicts subclinical vascular damage in adulthood
Large pulse pressure (PP) in childhood is a predictor of the development of subclinical vascular damage during adulthood, suggests a recent study.
Data were drawn from a population-based cohort of children aged 6–18 years started in 1987. A total of 1,254 participants were included and followed up in 2010–2011 (aged 28–42 years). The authors assessed carotid arteriosclerosis using carotid intima–media thickness (IMT) and aortic stiffness using brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (PWV).
Adjusting for sex, childhood age, follow-up duration and other traditional cardiovascular risk factors, childhood PP and mean arterial pressure (MAP) have been shown to be both independently associated with adult carotid IMT and PWV.
Childhood PP remained associated with adult carotid IMT, but not with PWV, after further adjustment for adult values of PP and MAP, while childhood MAP correlated with adult PWV but not with carotid IMT.
Irrespective of childhood PP status, participants with high PP in adulthood had higher levels of carotid IMT and PWV (p<0.05 for all) compared with those who had normal PP in both childhood and adulthood. In addition, participants who had high PP in childhood and normal PP in adulthood had higher levels of adult carotid IMT but similar levels of PWV vs those with consistently normal PP.
“These findings underscore the importance of early prevention of large PP to reduce future risk of cardiovascular disease,” the authors said.