Association of Brachial-Ankle Pulse Wave Velocity With Cardiovascular Events in Atrial Fibrillation

Am J Hypertens. 2016 Mar;29(3):348-56. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpv124. Epub 2015 Aug 13.


Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) and increased arterial stiffness share several risk factors and the 2 diseases often coexist. However, the prognostic value of increased arterial stiffness remains uncertain in the AF population. We evaluated whether brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), a marker of arterial stiffness, can predict cardiovascular events, and determined that the baPWV is a more favorable prognostic marker compared with conventional clinical and echocardiographic markers in patients with AF.

Methods: We enrolled 167 patients with persistent AF. Arterial stiffness was assessed using baPWV. Cardiovascular events were defined as cardiovascular death, nonfatal stroke, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and hospitalization for heart failure. The relative risk of cardiovascular events was analyzed using Cox regression models. An improvement in model prediction was determined using the -2 log likelihood ratio statistic.

Results: During a median 26-month follow-up, 42 (24.9%) cardiovascular events were observed. The baPWV emerged as an independent predictor of cardiovascular events (adjusted hazard ratio: 1.152; 95% confidence interval: 1.054-1.259; P = 0.002) in the multivariate analysis. Furthermore, the addition of baPWV to a Cox model comprising standard clinical, biochemical, and echocardiographic parameters improved the prediction of adverse cardiovascular events (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: In patients with AF, a high baPWV is associated with increased cardiovascular events and improve the prediction of adverse cardiovascular events. Hence, baPWV might be included when examining patients with AF for prediction of adverse cardiovascular outcomes.

Keywords: arterial stiffness; atrial fibrillation; blood pressure; brachial–ankle pulse wave velocity; cardiovascular events; hypertension..

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Ankle Brachial Index*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / epidemiology*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology*
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Vascular Stiffness / physiology*