Blood Pressure and Body Weight Have Different Effects on Pulse Wave Velocity and Cardiac Mass in Children

Simonetta Genovesi, Paolo Salvi, Elisa Nava, Elena Tassistro, Marco Giussani, Ilaria Desimone, Antonina Orlando, Mariagrazia Battaglino, Giulia Lieti, Massimo Montemerlo, Laura Antolini, Gianfranco Parati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: High blood pressure (BP) and excess weight can lead to early cardiovascular organ damage already in children. Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cf-PWV) is the non-invasive gold standard method for assessing aortic stiffness, while carotid-radial PWV (cr-PWV) provides information on the distensibility of the upper limb arteries. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship of BP and BMI z-scores with arterial stiffness and left ventricular mass index (LVMI) in a pediatric population.

METHODS: In 343 children (57.7% males; age ± SD 11.7 ± 2.9 years), systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) BP, BMI, cf-PWV, cr-PWV and LVMI were measured. A multiple linear regression model was used to assess the impact of BMI and SBP (or DBP) z-scores on cf-PWV, cr-PWV and LVMI.

RESULTS: About 21% of children were normal weight, 34% were overweight and 45% obese. Adjusted for possible confounders, SBP and DBP z-scores were significantly associated with cf-PWV (p < 0.001), while only DBP z-scores were related to cr-PWV (p < 0.01). BMI was neither associated with cf-PWV nor with cr-PWV values but was a strong predictor of LVMI (<0.001), whereas cardiac mass and BP z-scores were not related.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that, in children, elevated BP values and excess weight may have different effects on the heart and the vessels in causing early cardiovascular alterations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 12 2020


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