University of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

Central Hemodynamics Could Explain the Inverse Association Between Height and Cardiovascular Mortality

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 20:57 authored by Reeve, JC, Abhayaratna, WP, Davies, JE, James SharmanJames Sharman
BACKGROUND: Mechanisms underlying the inverse relationship between height and cardiovascular mortality are unknown but could relate to central hemodynamics. We sought to determine the relation of height to central and peripheral hemodynamics, as well as clinical characteristics. METHODS: The study population was comprised of 1,152 randomly selected community-dwelling adults (aged 67.7±12.3 years; 48% men). Brachial blood pressure (BP) was recorded by sphygmomanometry; central BP and aortic pulse wave velocity were estimated by applanation tonometry. Stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to determine associations between height and central and peripheral hemodynamics. RESULTS: Height was not significantly associated with aortic pulse wave velocity in men or women. The relationship with height and brachial systolic BP was borderline in women (β = -0.115; P = 0.051) but not significant in men (β = -0.096; P = 0.09). Conversely, central systolic BP, estimated by transfer function (β = -0.139 for men [βM]; β = -0.172 for women [βW]) or radial second systolic peak (β M = -0.239; β W = -0.281), augmentation index at 75 bpm (β M = -0.189; β W = -0.224), and aortic pulse wave timing (β M = 0.224; β W = 0.262) were independently associated with height in both sexes (P < 0.003 for all). Both men and women of greater than median height were less likely to have coronary artery disease (P < 0.05), to have systemic hypertension (P < 0.01), or to be taking vasoactive medication (P < 0.001) compared with participants of less than median height. CONCLUSIONS: Even after correcting for conventional cardiovascular risk factors, taller individuals have more favorable central hemodynamics and reduced evidence of coronary artery disease compared with shorter individuals. These findings may help explain the decreased cardiovascular risk associated with being taller and also have important clinical consequences regarding therapy.


Publication title

American Journal of Hypertension








Menzies Institute for Medical Research


Oxford University Press

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2013 American Journal of Hypertension, Ltd

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania


    Ref. manager