Aortic augmentation index is associated with the ankle-brachial index: A community-based study



      Increased arterial stiffness has been associated with greater risk of cardiovascular events. We investigated whether aortic augmentation index (AIx), a measure of arterial stiffness and wave reflection, was associated with the ankle-brachial index (ABI), a measure of peripheral arterial disease (PAD).


      AIx and ABI were measured in a community-based sample of 475 adults without prior history of heart attack or stroke (mean age 59.3 years, 46.5% men). Radial artery pulse waveforms were obtained by applanation tonometry and an ascending aortic pressure waveform derived by a transfer function. AIx is the difference between the first and second systolic peak of the ascending aortic pressure waveform indexed to the central pulse pressure. ABI was measured using a standard protocol, and subjects with non-compressible vessels (ABI >1.5) were excluded from the analyses. Multivariable linear and logistic generalized estimating equations (GEE) analyses were used to assess whether AIx was associated with ABI and ABI <1.00, respectively, independent of conventional risk factors.


      Mean (±S.D.) values were: AIx, 29.3 ± 11.6%; ABI, 1.12 ± 0.13; 59 (12.4%) participants had an ABI <1.00. Variables associated with a lower ABI (and ABI <1.00) included older age, shorter height, female sex, higher total cholesterol, hypertension medication use, history of smoking, and higher AIx. After adjustment for mean arterial pressure and the above variables, higher AIx remained associated with a lower ABI (P = 0.015) and ABI <1.00 (P = 0.002). A significant interaction (P = 0.007) was present between AIx and age in the prediction of ABI; the (inverse) association of AIx with ABI was stronger in older subjects (>65 years).


      AIx, a measure of arterial stiffness and wave reflection, was independently associated with a lower ABI in asymptomatic subjects from the community, and this association was modified by age.


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