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Usefulness of pulse wave velocity as an indicator of atherosclerosis in subjects with impaired fasting glucose

Hemamalini Ramasamy Vajravelu, Arpita Priyadarshini, Prabhavathi Krishnan, Saravanan Ayyavoo.


Background: The prediabetic state with impaired fasting glucose level (IFG) is one of the risk factors for endothelial dysfunction leading to atherosclerosis. Pulse wave velocity is an effective index of arterial stiffness and is widely used for noninvasive assessment of atherosclerosis.

Aims and Objectives: To assess the usefulness of pulse wave velocity (PWV) as an indicator of atherosclerosis in IFG. Also to compare PWV values in subjects with IFG and those with normal fasting glucose (NFG) levels and to correlate the PWV values with the fasting glucose levels.

Materials and Methods: Two hundred male subjects were involved in the study. Group 1 comprised subjects with IFG (n = 100). Group 2 comprised subjects with NFG (n = 100). Both the groups were evaluated for physiological parameters-Blood pressure and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (ba-PWV) using PeriScope. The biochemical parameters such as fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, and lipid profile were also measured. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS-19 software. All parameters were compared using unpaired Student’s t-test. Pearson correlation analysis was done to establish the relationship between two variables.

Results: Significant differences were found between the ba-PWV values in the IFG and NFG groups (1549.5 ± 60.5 cm/s vs 1351.7 ± 44.0 cm/s, p < 0.05). There was also significant positive correlation (r = 0.88) between ba-PWV value and fasting glucose level. The multiple regression analysis showed that IFG level is an independent risk factor for increased ba-PWV levels.

Conclusion: Our study showed that ba-PWV can be used as an indicator to detect the early development of atherosclerosis in subjects with IFG levels.

Key words: Pulse wave velocity, Atherosclerosis, Impaired fasting glucose, Arterial stiffness

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