Arterial flow, pulse pressure and pulse wave velocity in men and women at various ages

Alberto P. Avolio*, Tatiana Kuznetsova, Guy R. Heyndrickx, Peter L.M. Kerkhof, John K.J. Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The increase in pulse pressure (PP) that occurs with advancing age is predominantly due to reduced arterial distensibility leading to decreased aortic compliance, particularly in the elderly, in whom high blood pressure mainly manifests as isolated systolic hypertension. Since age-related changes in stroke volume are minimal compared with changes in PP, PP is often considered a surrogate measure of arterial stiffness. However, since PP is determined by both cardiac and arterial function, a more precise and reliable means of assessment of arterial stiffness is arterial pulse wave velocity (PWV), a parameter that is only dependent on arterial properties. Arterial stiffness as measured by PWV has been found to be a powerful pressure-related indicator for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. We analyzed PP and PWV in men and women of various age groups in healthy volunteers as well as cardiac patients with different types of diseases. The findings identified several striking sex-specific differences which demand consideration in guidelines for diagnostic procedures, for epidemiological analysis, and in evaluation of therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSex-specific analysis of cardiovascular function
EditorsPeter L. M. Kerkhof, Virginia M. Miller
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783319779324
ISBN (Print)9783319779317
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Aging arterial system
  • Arterial compliance
  • Augmentation index
  • Blood pressure
  • Cardio-ankle vascular index
  • Pulse pressure
  • Pulse wave velocity
  • Sex-specific analysis

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