Stiff Aorta Wall Points to High BP
Stiffening of the wall of the aorta, the artery that runs from your heart to your abdomen, may be linked to a risk of high blood pressure. That's the finding of a study led by Dr. Bernhard Kaess of the Framingham Heart Study and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The average age of the study participants was 60.
"In this cohort, higher aortic stiffness . . . [was] associated with higher risk of incident hypertension. . . Vascular stiffness increases with advancing age and is a major risk factor for age-related morbidity and mortality," the authors wrote.
Fortunately, however, the news is not all bad. The study offers "clues to hypertension prevention," according to a report in HealthDay. A journal news release emphasized that the findings "indicate that stiffness and function in the aorta and other arteries may be important potential targets for treatment to prevent high blood pressure."