Abstract 1324: Endothelial Dysfunction and Low-grade Inflammation Are Associated With Greater Arterial Stiffness: The Amsterdam Growth and Health Longitudinal Study (AGAHLS)
Background: Endothelial dysfunction (ED) and low-grade inflammation (LGI) are associated with (incident) cardiovascular disease (CVD). Greater arterial stiffness (AS) plays an important role in CVD. Thus, a mechanism through which ED and LGI may lead to CVD is by arterial stiffening.
Aim: To investigate, in young individuals, the associations between ED and LGI on the one hand and AS on the other.
Methods: Plasma markers for ED (vWf, sVCAM-1, sE-selectin, Thrombomodulin, sICAM-1) and LGI (CRP, SAA, IL6, IL8, TNF-α, sICAM-1) were determined in the AGAHLS cohort (n=370; women=195; age 36.5±0.63 years) and combined into mean z-scores. Arterial stiffness was determined by means of ultrasonography (diameter (D), distension (ΔD) and intima-media thickness (IMT)) and local pulse pressure (PP) according to the formulas: Distensibility Coefficient DC=(2Δ D+DΔD2)/(PP.D2) in 10−3.kPa−1; Compliance Coefficient CC=π (2D ΔD+ΔD2)/4PP in mm2.kPa−1 and Young’s elastic modulus YEM=D/IMT.DC in 103.kPa. Linear regression analyses was used to investigate the associations between ED and LGI and arterial stiffness.
Results: ED was associated with greater femoral stiffness (β(95%CI) for CC: −0.19 (−0.36; −0.02) and DC: −0.17 (−0.33; 0.004)), but not with carotid stiffness (CC: −0.02 (−0.19; 0.15) and DC: 0.01 (−0.15; 0.17)). In contrast, LGI was associated with greater carotid stiffness (DC: −0.17 (−0.34; −0.01) and CC: −0.13 (−0.30; 0.04), but not YEM: 0.04 (−0.13; 0.21)), and with greater femoral stiffness (only CC: −0.21 (−0.38; −0.04). The above associations were mutually independent and were driven by smaller ΔD and D in the femoral artery, whereas by greater PP in the carotid artery. In the YEM formula the effect of decreased DC was outbalanced by greater IMT.
Conclusions: Our study shows that in young (apparently healthy) individuals, ED and LGI are associated with greater arterial stiffness, ED primarily affecting the femoral artery and LGI primarily the carotid artery. YEM did not increase with LGI, which suggests that the carotid artery wall adapts to a certain extent to unfavorable alterations in the arterial environment. These findings suggest that the origin of arterial stiffening lies in early adulthood and involves independently both ED and LGI.