Background: The aim of this study was to assess the role of clinically available vascular function tests as predictors of cardiovascular events and decline in kidney function.
Methods and results: One hundred and fourteen patients who had at least 2 cardiovascular risk factors were recruited for vascular function assessment including ankle-brachial blood pressure index (ABI), brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) and flow-mediated vasodilatation (%FMD). During a median period of 51 months, 35 patients reached the primary endpoint (29 cardiovascular events and 6 cardiac deaths), and 30 patients reached the secondary endpoint (decline in kidney function: defined as a 5% per year decline of estimated glomerular filtration rate). In sequential Cox models, a model on the basis of the Framingham risk score, hemoglobin, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (chi-squared, 16.6) was improved by the ABI (chi-squared: 21.5; P=0.047). The baPWV (hazard ratio: 1.42 per 1 SD increase; P=0.025) and the CAVI (hazard ratio: 1.52 per 1 SD increase; P=0.040) were associated with the secondary endpoint. The %FMD was only slightly associated with the primary and secondary endpoints.
Conclusions: Both ABI and baPWV are significantly associated with future cardiovascular events in high-risk patients with cardiovascular disease. The predictive capabilities of these parameters are greater than that of other parameters in this cohort.