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Regional pulse wave velocities and their cardiovascular risk factors among healthy middle-aged men: a cross-sectional population-based study

Jina Choo1*, Chol Shin4, Emma Barinas-Mitchell2, Kamal Masaki6, Bradley J Willcox5, Todd B Seto5, Hirotsugu Ueshima3, Sunghee Lee2, Katsuyuki Miura3, Lakshmi Venkitachalam7, Rachel H Mackey2, Rhobert W Evans2, Lewis H Kuller2, Kim Sutton-Tyrrell2 and Akira Sekikawa2

Author Affiliations

1 College of Nursing, Korea University, Anam-Dong, Seongbuk-Gu, Seoul 136-705, South Korea

2 Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

3 Department of Health Science, Shiga University of Medical Science, Otsu, Japan

4 Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Ansan, South Korea

5 The Queen’s Medical Center, Honolulu, HI, USA

6 Department of Gerontology, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA

7 Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics, School of Medicine, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas, MO, USA

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2014, 14:5  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-14-5

Published: 13 January 2014



Both carotid-femoral (cf) pulse wave velocity (PWV) and brachial-ankle (ba) PWV employ arterial sites that are not consistent with the path of blood flow. Few previous studies have reported the differential characteristics between cfPWV and baPWV by simultaneously comparing these with measures of pure central (aorta) and peripheral (leg) arterial stiffness, i.e., heart-femoral (hf) PWV and femoral-ankle (fa) PWV in healthy populations. We aimed to identify the degree to which these commonly used measures of cfPWV and baPWV correlate with hfPWV and faPWV, respectively, and to evaluate whether both cfPWV and baPWV are consistent with either hfPWV or faPWV in their associations with cardiovascular (CV) risk factors.


A population-based sample of healthy 784 men aged 40–49 (202 white Americans, 68 African Americans, 202 Japanese-Americans, and 282 Koreans) was examined in this cross-sectional study. Four regional PWVs were simultaneously measured by an automated tonometry/plethysmography system.


cfPWV correlated strongly with hfPWV (r = .81, P < .001), but weakly with faPWV (r = .12, P = .001). baPWV correlated moderately with both hfPWV (r = .47, P < .001) and faPWV (r = .62, P < .001). After stepwise regression analyses with adjustments for race, cfPWV shared common significant correlates with both hfPWV and faPWV: systolic blood pressure (BP) and body mass index (BMI). However, BMI was positively associated with hfPWV and cfPWV, and negatively associated with faPWV. baPWV shared common significant correlates with hfPWV: age and systolic BP. baPWV also shared the following correlates with faPWV: systolic BP, triglycerides, and current smoking.


Among healthy men aged 40 – 49, cfPWV correlated strongly with central PWV, and baPWV correlated with both central and peripheral PWVs. Of the CV risk factors, systolic BP was uniformly associated with all the regional PWVs. In the associations with factors other than systolic BP, cfPWV was consistent with central PWV, while baPWV was consistent with both central and peripheral PWVs.

Arterial stiffness; Aorta; Carotid arteries; Brachial artery; Femoral artery