What is the arterial stiffness?

Arterial stiffening, at least in part, reflects gradual fragmentation and loss of elastin fibers and accumulation of stiffer collagen fibers in the arterial wall [1]. Increased arterial stiffness is closely linked to increased risk of hypertension and other diseases, such as chronic kidney disease and stroke [2].

What causes arterial stiffness?

Arterial stiffness occurs as a consequence of biological aging and arteriosclerosis. Inflammation plays a major role in arteriosclerosis development, and consequently it is a major contributor in large arteries stiffening.

How do you measure arterial stiffness?

In clinical practice, PWV is most commonly calculated as PWV=ΔL/ΔT, with ΔL the distance between 2 measuring sites, and ΔT the time it takes for the arterial pulse to travel from the proximal to the distal measuring site.

How does arterial stiffness affect pulse pressure?

The result of these changes is stiffening of the arteries and consequent increase in pulse‐wave velocity (PWV), which is used to assess arterial stiffness. Increased arterial stiffness can cause isolated systolic hypertension, which increases pulse pressure (PP).

How can I stop my arteries from stiffening?

To prevent and reverse the hardening or narrowing of arteries, we recommend a heart healthy diet that is low in saturated fat and high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, along with regular exercise. We also suggest quitting smoking and controlling chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

How do you reduce arterial stiffness?

Aerobic Exercise. Aerobic exercise has been attractive for reducing arterial stiffness since the demonstration of improved systemic arterial compliance and aortic β-stiffness index after as little as 4 weeks of training in healthy, sedentary young adults.

How does exercise reduce arterial stiffness?

Nonenzymatic glycation leads to the formation of increased collagen crosslinks that result in increased arterial stiffness (21). It has been theorized that pulsatile stretching of collagen fibers during aerobic exercise can break these collagen crosslinks, resulting in a decrease in arterial stiffness (8).

What organs are affected by high pulse pressure?

Pulse Pressure and Kidney End-Organ This greater level of pressure ensures a high filtration fraction, but exposes the glomerular capillary to potentially damaging PP. As with the brain and the heart, the kidney normally autoregulates blood flow across a wide range of perfusion pressures.

Can pulse pressure be improved?

Nitrates have been shown to reduce both systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure while retaining diastolic blood pressure levels. Additionally, one study found that dietary supplementation with folic acid led to reduced pulse pressure in men with a normal or slightly elevated systolic blood pressure.

How is pulse wave velocity used to measure arterial stiffness?

One technique to assess arterial stiffness, the most important determinant of isolated systolic hypertension related to wave reflection and pulse pressure, is measurement of arterial pulse wave velocity (PWV). This is the distance traveled by blood flow divided by the time it takes to travel that distance (in meters/second).

When does pulse pressure and arterial stiffness decrease?

Pulse pressure and arterial stiffness. The pressure exerted on the walls of the blood vessels or arteries during the systole is lowest if the blood vessels are of high compliance or low stiffness.

What does arterial stiffness mean in medical terms?

Arterial stiffness describes the rigidity of the arterial wall. In the last decade, there has been increasing interest in the potential role of arterial stiffening in the development of cardiovascular disease in adults.

How is the stiffness of the arteries related to speed of travel?

The speed of travel of this pulse wave ( pulse wave velocity (PWV)) is related to the stiffness of the arteries. Other terms that are used to describe the mechanical properties of arteries include elastance, or the reciprocal (inverse) of elastance, compliance.