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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Differential associations of central and brachial blood pressure with carotid atherosclerosis and microvascular complications in patients with type 2 diabetes

Chan-Hee Jung1, Sang-Hee Jung2, Kyu-Jin Kim1, Bo-Yeon Kim1, Chul-Hee Kim1, Sung-Koo Kang1 and Ji-Oh Mok1*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, #170 Jomaru-ro, Wonmi-gu, Bucheon-si, Gyeonggi-do 420-767, South Korea

2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cha University School of Medicine, Bundang, Korea

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2014, 14:23  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-14-23

Published: 20 February 2014



We examined the relationship between central blood pressure (BP), brachial BP with carotid atherosclerosis and microvascular complications in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).


We recruited 201 patients who were evaluated for central BP, brachial BP, carotid ultrasonography, brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), ankle-brachial index (ABI) and microvascular complications. Central BP were calculated using a radial automated tonometric system.


Agreement between central BP and brachial BP was very strong (concordance correlation coefficient between central and brachial SBP = 0.889, between central and brachial PP = 0.816). Central pulse pressure (PP) was correlated with mean carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), baPWV and ABI, whereas brachial PP was borderline significantly correlated with CIMT. The prevalence of nephropathy(DN) and retinopathy(DR) according to the brachial PP tertiles increased, the prevalences of microvascular complications were not different across central PP tertiles. In multivariate analysis, the relative risks (RRs) for the presence of DR were 1.2 and 4.6 for the brachial PP tertiles 2 and 3 when compared with the first tertile. Also, the RRs for the presence of DN were 1.02 and 3 for the brachial PP tertiles 2 and 3 when compared with the first tertile.


Agreement of central BP and brachial BP was very strong. Nonetheless, this study showed that higher brachial PP levels are associated with increased probability for the presence of microvascular complications such as DR/DN. However, there are no associations with central SBP and central PP with microvascular complications. Central BP levels than brachial BP are correlated with surrogate marker of macrovascular complications.

Central blood pressure; Brachial blood pressure; Microvascular complications; Carotid atherosclerosis; Type 2 diabetes