Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity Predicts Cardiovascular Mortality in Subjects >70 Years of Age
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Aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) is a significant and independent predictor of cardiovascular mortality in subjects with essential hypertension and in patients with end-stage renal disease. Its contribution to cardiovascular risk in subjects 70 to 100 years old has never been tested. A cohort of 141 subjects (mean±SD age, 87.1±6.6 years) was studied in 3 geriatrics departments in a Paris suburb. Together with sphygmomanometric blood pressure measurements, aortic PWV was measured with a validated automatic device. During the 30-month follow-up, 56 patients died (27 from cardiovascular events). Logistic regressions indicated that age (P=0.005) and a loss of autonomy (P=0.01) were the best predictors of overall mortality. For cardiovascular mortality, aortic PWV was the major risk predictor (P=0.016). The odds ratio was 1.19 (95% confidence interval, 1.03 to 1.37). Antihypertensive drug treatment and blood pressure, including systolic and pulse pressure, had no additive role. In subjects 70 to 100 years old, aortic PWV is a strong, independent predictor of cardiovascular death, whereas systolic or pulse pressure was not. This prospective result will need to be confirmed in an intervention trial.