Association between lowered endothelial function measured by peripheral arterial tonometry and cardio-metabolic risk factors - a cross-sectional study of Finnish municipal workers at risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease

BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2013 Oct 11;13:83. doi: 10.1186/1471-2261-13-83.


Background: The aim of this cross-sectional study was to determine the association between lowered endothelial function measured by peripheral arterial tonometry (PAT) and cardio-metabolic risk factors. The study population consisted of Finnish municipal workers who were at risk of diabetes or cardiovascular disease and who had expressed a need to change their health behaviour.

Methods: A total of 312 middle-aged municipal workers underwent a physical medical examination and anthropometry measurements. Levels of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose, glycated haemoglobin, and high sensitivity C-reactive protein were taken from the blood samples. PAT measured the increase in digital pulse volume amplitude during reactive hyperemia, and the index of endothelial function, F-RHI, was defined as the ratio of post-deflation amplitude to baseline amplitude.

Results: In the linear regression model, male sex was associated with lower F-RHI. In sex-adjusted linear regression models, each of the variables; waist circumference, fasting glucose, glycated hemoglobin, triglycerides, body fat percentage, body mass index, current smoking, and impaired fasting glucose or diabetes were separately associated with lower F-RHI, and HDL cholesterol and resting heart rate were associated with higher F-RHI.HDL cholesterol, sex, body mass index, and current smoking entered a stepwise multivariable regression model, in which HDL cholesterol was associated with higher F-RHI, and smoking, male sex and body mass index were associated with lower F-RHI. This model explains 28.3% of the variability in F-RHI.

Conclusions: F-RHI is associated with several cardio-metabolic risk factors; low level of HDL cholesterol, male sex, overweight and smoking being the most important predictors of a lowered endothelial function. A large part of variation in F-RHI remains accounted for by unknown factors.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology*
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Local Government*
  • Male
  • Manometry / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health* / trends
  • Risk Factors