Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Pulse wave velocity and carotid atherosclerosis in White and Latino patients with hypertension

Mori J Krantz12*, Carlin S Long12, Patrick Hosokawa3, Elhum Karimkhani1, Miriam Dickinson3, Raymond O Estacio12, Frederick A Masoudi12 and Edward P Havranek12

Author Affiliations

1 Cardiology Division, Denver Health Medical Center, Denver, USA

2 Department of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, USA

3 Department of Family Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, USA

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2011, 11:15  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-11-15

Published: 11 April 2011



Preventive cardiology has expanded beyond coronary heart disease towards prevention of a broader spectrum of cardiovascular diseases. Ethnic minorities are at proportionately greater risk for developing extracoronary vascular disease including heart failure and cerebrovascular disease.


We performed a cross sectional study of Latino and White hypertension patients in a safety-net healthcare system. Framingham risk factors, markers of inflammation (hsCRP, LPpLA2), arterial stiffness (Pulse wave velocity, augmentation index, and central aortic pressure), and endothelial function (brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation) were measured. Univariate and multivariable associations between these parameters and an index of extracoronary atherosclerosis (carotid intima media thickness) was performed.


Among 177 subjects, mean age was 62 years, 67% were female, and 67% were Latino. In univariate analysis, markers associated with carotid intima media thickness (IMT) at p < 0.25 included pulse wave velocity (PWV), augmentation index (AIx), central aortic pressure (cAP), and LpPLA2 activity rank. However, AIx, cAP, and LpPLA2 activity were not significantly associated with carotid IMT after adjusting for Framingham risk factors (all p > .10). Only PWV retained a significant association with carotid IMT independent of the Framingham general risk profile parameters (p = .016). No statistically significant interactions between Framingham and other independent variables with ethnicity (all p > .05) were observed.


In this safety net cohort, PWV is a potentially useful adjunctive atherosclerotic risk marker independent of traditional risk factors and irrespective of ethnicity.

Pulse wave velocity; hypertension; atherosclerosis; carotid intima media thickness; Latino; inflammatory markers; augmentation index; central aortic pressure; C-reactive protein