BACKGROUND AND AIM: General population awareness about cardiovascular risk factors is usually low. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the vascular aging of subjects aware and not aware to be hypertensive, hypercholesterolemic, hypertriglyceridemic or diabetics in a general population sample.
METHODS AND RESULTS: We interviewed 1652 subjects without atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases (M: 46.6%, F: 53.4%) about their awareness of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia or type 2 diabetes. Then we compared the augmentation index and pulse wave velocity of subjects aware and not aware of the investigated cardiovascular risk factors. 1049 participants declared not to be hypertensive, while 32 were not sure. Among them, respectively, 23.5% and 50% were hypertensive. Subjects not aware of their hypertension had significantly higher aortic blood pressure than aware ones (p < 0.001). 841 participants declared not to be hypercholesterolemic, while 60 were not sure. Among them, respectively, 18.1% and 40% were hypercholesterolemic. Subjects not aware of their hypercholesterolemia had significantly higher augmentation index than the aware ones (p < 0.05). 1226 participants declared not to be hypertriglyceridemic, while 200 were not sure. Among them, respectively, 19.2% and 44% were hypertriglyceridemic. Subjects not aware of their hypertriglyceridemia had significantly higher TG levels aware ones (p < 0.05), although this seemed to not related to increased arterial stiffness. 1472 participants declared not to be diabetic, while 20 were not sure. Among them, respectively, 2.0% and 25.0% were diabetics. Subjects not aware of their diabetes had significantly higher augmentation index than the aware ones (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the lack of awareness of hypertension and hypercholesterolemia is relatively frequent in the general population and is associated to significantly higher arterial stiffness.