Difference in the risk profiles of carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity: results from two community-based studies in China and Sweden


Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) and its risk factors may differ between various populations. Few studies have compared the risk profiles associated with cfPWV in different ethnic populations. The study population included 4321 subjects from Shanghai, China (n = 1272, age 75.0 ± 6.5 years, female 57.3%) and Malmö, Sweden (n = 3049, age 72.5 ± 5.5 years, female 60.4%). cfPWV was measured using the SphygmoCor device in both cohorts, with some difference in the determination of pulse transmission distance. The median cfPWV was 8.9 and 10.1 m/s (P < 0.001) respectively in the Chinese and Swedish subjects. cfPWV was associated (P < 0.05) with age, body mass index (BMI), mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate, fasting plasma glucose and serum triglycerides in both populations. The standardized effect size (m/s) associated with age (0.091 vs. 0.048, P < 0.001) and fasting plasma glucose (0.025 vs. 0.012, P = 0.046) was greater in the Swedish than Chinese subjects, whereas those with BMI (0.046 vs. 0.008, P < 0.001), MAP (0.079 vs. 0.067, P = 0.016), and heart rate (0.057 vs. 0.046, P = 0.036) were greater in Chinese. No difference was observed in those associated with serum triglycerides (P = 0.128). cfPWV was additionally associated with sex, serum total cholesterol, and on antihypertensive medication in the Swedish subjects, and with serum uric acid in the Chinese subjects (P ≤ 0.041). In conclusion, Chinese and Swedish subjects shared similar major risk factors of arterial stiffness, but with some differences in the strength of associations.

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We gratefully acknowledge the voluntary participation of all subjects from both cohorts. We thank the expert assistance of the staff from the Clinical Research Unit at Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden and the physicians and nurses from the Zhaoxiang Community Health Centre (Qingpu District, Shanghai), as well as the technicians and doctoral and master students from the Shanghai Institute of Hypertension, Shanghai, China.


The Chinese study was financially supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81470533, 91639203 and 81770455), and the Ministry of Science and Technology, Beijing, China (2015AA020105–06 and 2016YFC1300100), and from the Shanghai Commissions of Science and Technology (14ZR1436200 and 15XD1503200) and Education (Gaofeng Clinical Medicine Grant Support 20152503), the Shanghai Bureau of Health and Family Planning (20144Y0213, 15GWZK0802, 2017BR025 and a grant for leading academics) and Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine (14XJ10071), Shanghai, China. The Swedish study was supported by the Medical Research Council of Sweden (grant K2011-65X-20752-04-6), the Heart- and Lung Foundation, the Region Skåne County Council, and the Ernhold Lundstrom Foundation.

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Correspondence to Yan Li or Peter M. Nilsson.

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J-GW reports receiving grants and lecture and consulting fees from Omron Healthcare (Kyoto, Japan). The other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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