The association between carotid-femoral pulse-wave velocity and lung function in the Swedish CArdioPulmonary bioImage study (SCAPIS) cohort

Respir Med. 2021 Aug-Sep;185:106504. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2021.106504. Epub 2021 Jun 9.


Background: Arterial ageing is characterised by degradation of elastic fibres and increased stiffness of elastic arteries. Although low lung function and arterial stiffness are strongly related to age, the association between lung function and arterial ageing has not been widely explored. We used a large population-based study of 50-64 year olds to assess the association between lung function (measured by spirometry and CO diffusing capacity (DLCO)) and arterial stiffness (measured by carotid-femoral pulse-wave velocity (c-f PWV)).

Methods: Participants from the Swedish CArdioPulmonary bioImage Study (SCAPIS) cohort with information on spirometry (n = 8941) and DLCO (n = 8616) were included. General linear models (lung function quartiles) and linear regression was used to determine the association between lung function and c-f PWV.

Results: FEV1 (L), FVC (L), DLCO (mmol/(min kPa)) and DLCO/VA (mmol/(min kPa L)) were significantly and inversely associated with c-f PWV after adjustments; mean PWV (m/s) in Q1 (highest lung function) vs Q4: FEV1; 8.45 vs 8.60, p-value 0.001; FVC; 8.45 vs 8.57, p-value 0.018; DLCO; 8.46 vs 8.60, p-value 0.002; and DLCO/VA; 8.47 vs 8.58, p-value 0.001. In sex-stratified analyses, significant findings were reflected for FEV1 and DLCO in men only. The results remained significant for DLCO in all never smokers and in all participants without COPD or airflow limitation on spirometry.

Conclusions: A reduction in spirometry and DLCO is associated with elevated arterial stiffness in middle-aged men. A reduction in DLCO is associated with higher c-f PWV even in never smokers and in those without COPD or airflow limitation on spirometry.

Keywords: Arterial stiffness; Cardiovascular risk factors; Diffusing capacity; Epidemiology; Lung function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Carotid Arteries / physiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Elasticity
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery / physiology*
  • Heart Disease Risk Factors
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Diffusing Capacity
  • Pulse Wave Analysis*
  • Respiratory Function Tests / methods
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Spirometry
  • Sweden
  • Vascular Stiffness