Vascular assessment is becoming increasingly important in the diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases. In particular, clinical assessment of arterial stiffness, as measured by pulse wave velocity (PWV), is gaining increased interest due to the recognition of PWV as an influential factor on the prognosis of hypertension as well as being an independent predictor of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Whilst age and blood pressure are established as the two major determinants of PWV, the influence of heart rate on PWV measurements remains controversial with conflicting results being observed in both acute and epidemiological studies. In a majority of studies investigating the acute effects of heart rate on PWV, results were confounded by concomitant changes in blood pressure. Observations from epidemiological studies have also failed to converge, with approximately just half of such studies reporting a significant blood-pressure-independent association between heart rate and PWV. Further to the lack of consensus on the effects of heart rate on PWV, the possible mechanisms contributing to observed PWV changes with heart rate have yet to be fully elucidated, although many investigators have attributed heart-rate related changes in arterial stiffness to the viscoelasticity of the arterial wall. With elevated heart rate being an independent prognostic factor of cardiovascular disease and its association with hypertension, the interaction between heart rate and PWV continues to be relevant in assessing cardiovascular risk.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Current Hypertension Reviews|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2018|
- Arterial stiffness
- Blood pressure
- Heart rate
- Pulse wave velocity