Predictive value of arterial stiffness for cardiovascular events
A major reason for measuring arterial stiffness routinely in clinical practice comes from the recent demonstration that arterial stiffness has an independent predictive value for cardiovascular events. Several longitudinal epidemiological studies have demonstrated the predictive value of arterial stiffness as intermediate endpoints, i.e. The higher the arterial stiffness, the higher the number of cardiovascular events. The largest amount of evidence has been given for aortic stiffness, measured through carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity which is considered as gold standard. Aortic stiffness has independent predictive value for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, fatal and nonfatal coronary events and fatal strokes not only in patients with uncomplicated essential hypertension but also in patients with type 2 diabetes or end-stage renal disease, in elderly subjects and in the general population. Currently, as many as 21 studies consistently showed the independent predictive value of aortic stiffness for fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events in various populations. Aortic stiffness can thus be considered as an intermediate endpoint for cardiovascular events.