Abstract 3499: Ethnic and Gender Differences in Large and Small Artery Elasticity: Results of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)
Background: Arterial stiffness is a surrogate marker for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality; it may help account for ethnic and gender differences in cardiovascular risk.
Objective: We examined the large and small artery elasticity (LAE, SAE) according to ethnicity and gender in the large MESA cohort study.
Methods: A total of 3293 women and 3000 men aged 45– 84 years free of clinically recognized cardiovascular disease were recruited in 6 US communities from white, African American, Hispanic, and Chinese ethnicity. Pulse wave contour registration at the radial artery was performed in all subjects in a supine position using radial tonometry. LAE and SAE were derived from diastolic pulse contour analysis.
Results: A strong gradient of arterial elasticity was seen per decade of age, about 1.2 ml/mmHgx10 for LAE and 0.7 ml/mmHgx100 for SAE. Table 1⇓ presents mean levels of LAE and SAE, both unadjusted and simultaneously adjusted by regression for age, race/ethnicity, gender, center and education. We also adjusted for variables used in the estimation of arterial elasticity (height, heart rate, blood pressure and BMI), thus examining the information unique to the pulse wave contour. Much of the gender difference in arterial elasticity is explained by the gender difference in height. After adjustment LAE did not differ by ethnicity, but African Americans had lower levels of SAE.
Conclusions: African Americans free of overt cardiovascular disease have lower SAE but not different LAE compared to white, Chines and Hispanic ethnicity. This reduced SAE may indicate earlier vascular disease in African Americans than in other groups.