Background: To determine whether prediabetes and diabetes in older adults are associated with arterial stiffness measured in central and peripheral arteries and to examine characteristics that modify these associations.
Methods: Cohort members attending the 5th exam (2011-2013) of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study had pulse wave velocity (PWV) measures performed at the carotid-femoral (cfPWV), brachial-ankle (baPWV), and femoral-ankle (faPWV) segments. Fasting glucose ≥126mg/dl, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) ≥6.5%, or currently taking diabetes medication defined diabetes. Fasting glucose 100-125mg/dl or HbA1c 5.7%-6.4% among those without diabetes defined prediabetes. Cross-sectional associations were modeled using multivariable linear regression.
Results: Among 4,279 eligible participants with cfPWV measures (mean age 75 years), 22% were African-American, 25.5% had diabetes, and 54.7% had prediabetes. Compared to those with normal glucose, cfPWV was 95.8cm/s higher (stiffer) on average for those with diabetes (for reference: being 1 year older was associated with 14.4cm/s higher cfPWV). Similar findings were seen for diabetes and baPWV, although attenuated. Interestingly, faPWV was 17.6cm/s lower for those with diabetes compared to normal glucose. There was a significant positive association between baPWV and prediabetes. Among those with diabetes, cfPWV was higher for those with albuminuria, reduced kidney function, duration of diabetes ≥10 years, and elevated HbA1c (HbA1c ≥7).
Conclusion: Among older adults, diabetes is associated with higher central arterial stiffness and lower peripheral arterial stiffness, and prediabetes is associated with higher baPWV. Cross-sectionally, the magnitude of the effect of diabetes on central stiffness is equivalent to 6 years of arterial aging.
Keywords: arterial stiffness; blood pressure; diabetes; hypertension; peripheral arterial stiffness; prediabetes; pulse wave velocity; race..
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