Arterial stiffness is one of the characteristics of vascular aging. Increases in pulse pressure, which reflect an increase in the stiffness of the large arteries, are associated with elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. This may suggest a role of inflammation in the development of arterial stiffness. We investigated the relation between measures of arterial stiffness and CRP within the framework of the Rotterdam Study, a population-based cohort study including subjects aged 55 years and older. The carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity and the distensibility coefficient of the carotid artery were used as measures of arterial stiffness. Data on both arterial stiffness and CRP were available for 866 participants. In adjusted models, levels of CRP were linearly associated with pulse wave velocity (regression coefficient 0.088, 95% CI 0.006-0.170). Adjusted mean values of pulse wave velocity were significantly different across tertiles of CRP, being higher in the highest tertile of CRP. However, no significant association between CRP and carotid distensibility was observed.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Mattace Raso, F.U.S, van der Cammen, T.J.M, Meer, I.M, Schalekamp, M.A.D.H, Asmar, R, Hofman, A, & Witteman, J.C.M. (2004). C-reactive protein and arterial stiffness in older adults: The Rotterdam Study. Atherosclerosis, 176(1), 111–116. doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2004.04.014