Effects of aging on changing arterial compliance and left ventricular load in a northern Chinese urban community

A. P. Avolio, S. G. Chen, R. P. Wang, C. L. Zhang, M. F. Li, M. F. O'Rourke

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Pulse wave velocity (PWV) was measured by means of transcutaneous Doppler techniques in the aorta, right arm, and right leg of 480 normal subjects of both sexes in urban Beijing, China (age range 3 to 89 years, mean age 41 ± 20.8 SD); supine blood pressure was recorded in the brachial artery of each subject with standard sphygmomanometric procedures. Serum cholesterol was determined in a subgroup of 79 subjects (age 17 to 85 years, mean 47 ± 26 SD). PWV (y in cm/sec) was found to vary with age (x, years) at each of the three locations according to the following regression equations: aorta, y = 9.2x + 615, r = .673 (p < .001); right arm, y = 4.8x + 998, r = .453 (p < .001); right leg, y = 5.6x + 791, r = .630 (p < .001). Systolic, diastolic, mean, and pulse pressures were found to increase with age. PWV also increased with mean supine blood pressure but was not related to serum cholesterol (average 4.49 ± 0.11 [SEM], mmol/l). Compared with that of Western populations, serum cholesterol tended to be lower at all age groups, systolic pressure higher at ages over 35 years, and PWV higher at all ages. Because change in PWV is directly related to change in arterial compliance, these results indicate that aging and not concomitant atherosclerosis (known to be rare in Asian populations) is the dominant factor associated with reduced arterial compliance and increased left ventricular load in these subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-58
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes


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