Association of worsening arterial stiffness with incident heart failure in asymptomatic patients with cardiovascular risk factors


We investigated the independent and incremental role of worsening arterial stiffness in new-onset heart failure (HF) in patients with preclinical HF. We retrospectively studied 456 consecutive asymptomatic patients with HF risk factors (hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, atrial fibrillation and ischemic heart disease) who underwent paired applanation tonometry examinations (median interval of 2.4 years) during 2006–2011. Brachial ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) was measured as a surrogate marker of arterial stiffness. Patients were followed up for admission for new-onset HF over a median duration of 4.9 years after the second examination. HF was observed in 30 patients (7%). The change in baPWV (∆baPWV) was significantly associated with hospitalization for new-onset HF, independent of and incremental to comorbidities, renal dysfunction, left ventricular (LV) dysfunction and baPWV at baseline. Even in patients with an LV ejection fraction of 40%, ∆baPWV was significantly associated with hospitalization for new-onset HF after similar adjustments. When the patients were divided into groups based on this cutoff value of 15% ∆baPWV and the generally accepted external cutoff value of 1750 cm s−1 for baseline baPWV, the Kaplan–Meier estimates of the time of hospitalization for new-onset HF showed that a higher rate of HF was associated with higher baPWV at baseline and higher ∆baPWV (P=0.00005). In asymptomatic patients with cardiovascular risk factors, the deterioration in arterial stiffness was associated with hospitalization for new-onset HF, independent of and incremental with the clinical LV function and increased stiffness parameters at baseline.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Mr Masaru Morino in the collection of outcome data. The study was approved by the institutional review board of Kitaishikai Hospital.

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Correspondence to Makoto Saito.

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The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Aisu, H., Saito, M., Inaba, S. et al. Association of worsening arterial stiffness with incident heart failure in asymptomatic patients with cardiovascular risk factors. Hypertens Res 40, 173–180 (2017).

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  • arterial stiffness
  • heart failure
  • pulse wave velocity

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