Background: Brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) can be easily measured in an observer-independent way, but lacks robust population-based validation in terms of fatal combined with nonfatal outcomes.
Method: To address this issue, we studied 4251 Chinese randomly recruited Gaoyou County (54.1% women; mean age, 52.1).
Results: In the whole study population, mean values were 102.4 mmHg for mean arterial pressure (MAP), 51.1 mmHg for pulse pressure, and 14.8 m/s for baPWV. Over 4.4 years (median), 74 participants experienced a fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular event and 44 a stroke. In multivariable-adjusted Cox regression, standardized hazard ratios expressing the risk of a composite cardiovascular endpoint were 1.77 (95% confidence interval, 1.43-2.20), 1.37 (1.14-1.64) and 1.50 (1.26-1.78) for MAP, PP and baPWV, respectively; the corresponding hazard ratios for stroke were 1.82 (1.39-2.38), 1.39 (1.12-1.74) and 1.53 (1.25-1.89). baPWV did not add to the prediction of cardiovascular events or stroke by MAP (hazard ratios for baPWV, 1.25 and 1.27, respectively; P ≥ 0.053) but refined models including PP (hazard ratios, 1.42 and 1.45; P ≤ 0.0033). The optimized baPWV threshold, obtained by maximizing Youden's index (16.7 m/s), increased the integrated discrimination improvement over and beyond MAP (+1.27%; P = 0.021) and PP (+1.37%; P = 0.038) for the cardiovascular outcome, but not stroke, and increased the net reclassification improvement for both endpoints (≥42.2%; P ≤ 0.004).
Conclusion: With fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular and cerebrovascular endpoints as outcome, baPWV marginally increases risk stratification over and beyond MAP, but is a better predictor than PP. A threshold of 16.7 m/s might be used in Chinese populations.