Objective: To evaluate whether components of a healthy lifestyle, combined and individually, are associated with arterial stiffness as a marker of functional vascular aging. Methods: We included 3235 participants aged 61-96 years from the Rotterdam Study. Measures of arterial stiffness included: aortic pulse wave velocity and carotid distensibility coefficient. Participants were scored one point for each of healthy lifestyle factors: consumption of five or more of fruits and/or vegetables per day, 75 min or more vigorous physical activity per week, 18.5 ≤ BMI ≤ 24. 9, never smoked and light-to-moderate alcohol intake (maximum seven glasses for women and 14 glasses for men) per week. Also a combined score (0-5) was computed by adding the five factors. Linear regression analysis was used to evaluate the association of healthy lifestyle and measures of arterial stiffness adjusting for confounders. Results: Participants had -0.113 [95% confidence interval (CI): -0.196, -0.029] difference in mean aortic pulse wave velocity m/s per unit increment of the lifestyle factors score, independent of cardiovascular risk factors. Higher fruit and vegetable consumption -0.221 (95% CI: -0.409, -0.034) and physical activity -0.239 (95% CI: -0.433, -0.044) were also significantly associated with reduced aortic pulse wave velocity. The corresponding estimates in carotid distensibility coefficient lacked statistical significance when we adjusted for cardiovascular risk factors. Conclusion: Combining multiple healthy lifestyle factors is associated with reduced aortic stiffness, a measure of functional vascular aging and independent of cardiovascular risk factors.

, , , ,
doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000000861, hdl.handle.net/1765/83721
Journal of Hypertension
Department of Epidemiology

Karimi, L., Mattace Raso, F., van Rosmalen, J., van Rooij, F., Hofman, A., & Franco, O. (2016). Effects of combined healthy lifestyle factors on functional vascular aging: The Rotterdam Study. Journal of Hypertension, 34(5), 853–859. doi:10.1097/HJH.0000000000000861