Effects of Age on the Carotid Pulse in Two Greek Populations
Right carotid pulses were recorded from 795 men in Crete in 1960 and 593 men in Corfu in 1961, representing 95% and 86% of the males, aged 25 to 74 years, in selected areas of the two islands, both areas having remarkably low prevalence of atherosclerotic disease. Five years later carotid pulses were recorded from 677 (from Crete) and 410 (from Corfu) of the same subjects.
Peak times became longer with age, reaching stable values in Corfu men in their thirties and in Crete men in their forties. Beyond this age, medians of peak times were 0.22 sec, and medians of relative peak times 24% in both areas. The relative height of the anacrotic break decreased linearly from a median value of 80 to 85% to 50 to 55% between the ages of 25 and 60 years in both areas. In general, the observed median 5-year (1960-1961 vs. 1965-1966) changes in pulse contours were similar to the differentiated groups at an earlier age than did the anacrotic break but the latter continued to be of differential value to a later age.
Elevated blood pressure had an effect on the carotid pulse similar to that of aging but less intense. However, the rate of change with aging was slower in Crete, an area with relatively higher prevalence of hypertensive disease, than in Corfu, an area with a higher incidence of coronary heart disease.
- Received February 27, 1970.
- Accepted April 30, 1970.
- © 1970 American Heart Association, Inc.