“Sleep disordered breathing and ECG R-wave to radial artery pulse delay, The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis”

Younghoon Kwon, David R. Jacobs, Pamela L. Lutsey, Lyndia Brumback, Julio A. Chirinos, Sara Mariani, Susan Redline, Daniel A. Duprez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Electrocardiography R-wave to radial artery pulse delay (RRD) represents pulse transit time inclusive of pre-ejection period (PEP) and arterial pulse propagation time. RRD is proposed to largely reflect arterial stiffness when PEP is accounted for (shorter RRD = higher arterial stiffness). Sleep disordered breathing (SDB) causes intermittent hypoxemia and sympathetic activation, which negatively influences vascular function. We aimed to examine the association of measures of SDB with RRD. Methods: Our sample consisted of participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis without prevalent cardiovascular disease who underwent a daytime arterial elasticity exam, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and overnight polysomnography. SDB measures of interest included apnea hypopnea index (AHI) and oxygen desaturation index (ODI) (N = 1173). RRD was regressed on each measure of SDB separately, with adjustment for other cardiovascular risk factors as well as for correlates of the PEP, another component of RRD, by including cardiac MRI measures of contractility and preload. Results: In multivariate analysis, among measures of SDB, ODI, a marker of intermittent hypoxemia, was inversely associated with RRD (β = −60.2 msec per SD [15.5/hr], p = 0.04). No significant association was found with AHI. In gender stratified analyses, ODI and AHI were predictive of RRD in men only (β = −111.3 msec per SD [15.5/hr], p = 0.01 and β = −100.3 msec per SD [16.1/hr], p = 0.02 respectively). Conclusion: Severity of SDB as measured by ODI was associated with RRD, a marker of arterial stiffness. Thus, association of RRD with measures of SDB appears to be gender-dependent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-179
Number of pages8
JournalSleep Medicine
StatePublished - Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.


  • Arterial stiffness
  • Pulse transit time
  • Sleep apnea
  • Sleep disordered breathing


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