Increased cardiovascular stiffness and impaired age-related functional status

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2015 May;70(5):545-53. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glu085. Epub 2014 Jun 24.


Our objective was to determine if increased cardiovascular (CV) stiffness is associated with disability in middle-aged and older adults at risk for congestive heart failure. CV stiffness (brachial pulse pressure/left ventricular stroke volume indexed to body surface area) and total disability (the summed assessment of activities of daily living, mobility, and instrumental activities of daily living) were measured in 445 individuals. A subset of 109 randomly selected individuals also underwent physical function testing. Total disability was associated with CV stiffness (p = .01), driven by an association with mobility (p = .005), but not activities of daily living (p = .13) or instrumental activities of daily living (p = .61). After accounting for age, these correlations remained significant for men (p = .04), but not for women. CV stiffness was also associated with increased 400-m walk time (p = .02). In middle-aged and elderly men at risk for congestive heart failure, CV stiffness is associated with decreased mobility and physical function, and increased overall disability.

Keywords: Cardiovascular stiffness; Congestive heart failure.; Disability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Brachial Artery
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobility Limitation
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vascular Stiffness / physiology*