Assessment of arterial stiffness in type 1 diabetes using digital pulse contour analysis: Is it a reliable method?

Acta Diabetol. 2016 Jun;53(3):477-82. doi: 10.1007/s00592-015-0821-1. Epub 2015 Dec 21.


Aims: The aim of this study was to assess the arterial stiffness in patients with type 1 diabetes compared with a control group and determine the associated potential risk factors for its occurrence.

Methods: Fifty-seven subjects with type 1 diabetes and fifty-three healthy controls were submitted to clinical and laboratory evaluation. The peripheral waveform pressure was analyzed to assess arterial stiffness according to the reflection and stiffness index.

Results: Arterial stiffness did not differ between the controls and patients with type 1 diabetes. Pulse pressure showed no difference among both groups. In the group of patients with type 1 diabetes, the stiffness index was correlated with diabetes duration (r = 0.59, p < 0.001), body mass index (r = 0.27, p = 0.03), diastolic blood pressure (r = 0.33, p = 0.001), triglycerides (r = 0.35, p = 0.007), and age (r = 0.46, p < 0.001). The reflection index was correlated with the systolic blood pressure (r = 0.29, p = 0.02), diastolic blood pressure (r = 0.30, p = 0.02), and cardiac frequency (r = 0.48, p < 0.001). In the stepwise multivariate analysis, disease duration, diastolic blood pressure, and HDL cholesterol were the most important independent variables associated with arterial stiffness in patients with type 1 diabetes.

Conclusions: We concluded that in the studied population, arterial stiffness showed no difference between patients with diabetes and controls; thus, the use of this method should not be indicated for routine clinical practice in type 1 diabetes.

Keywords: Arterial stiffness; Atherosclerosis; Cardiovascular disease; Microcirculation; Type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pulse Wave Analysis / methods*
  • Vascular Stiffness*