Reduced small artery but not large artery elasticity is an independent risk marker for cardiovascular events

Elizabeth Grey, Chris Bratteli, Stephen P. Glasser, Cheryl Alinder, Stanley M Finkelstein, Bruce R Lindgren, Jay N Cohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


Background: Atherosclerosis begins in the arterial wall, with endothelial dysfunction accompanied by functional and structural changes that influence arterial stiffness. Pulse contour analysis provides an assessment of compliance or elasticity of the large conduit arteries (C1) and small microcirculatory arteries (C2). In this study, the predictive value of reduced elasticity of these arteries was evaluated by follow-up of subjects who underwent pulse contour analysis at the University of Minnesota. Methods: Questionnaires were sent to 870 subjects who had radial artery pulse wave analysis performed between 1993 and 1999 using a noninvasive sensor, parameter estimating algorithm and modified Windkessel model of the circulation. Responses from 419 subjects > 19 years of age reported on any cardiovascular events including death, myocardial infarction, stroke, transient ischemic attacks, angina, or coronary or peripheral vascular interventional procedures. Results: Of the subjects, 168 (41%) reported one or more cardiovascular events. Events were more common in those with elevated blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, and family history of events. Age, reduced C1, and reduced C2 were univariate predictors of events. After adjusting for age, a 2-unit decrease in C2 remained a significant predictor (odds ratio 1.50, P < .001), whereas C1 was no longer predictive. Conclusion: Reduced small artery elasticity, which is a measure of endothelial dysfunction, is significantly associated with cardiovascular events independent of age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-269
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of hypertension
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Arterial elasticity
  • Cardiovascular events
  • Pulse contour analysis

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