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Relative contribution of blood pressure in childhood, young and mid-adulthood to large artery stiffness in mid-adulthood

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posted on 2023-05-21, 13:15 authored by Yaxing MengYaxing Meng, Marie-Jeanne BuscotMarie-Jeanne Buscot, Juonala, M, Feitong WuFeitong Wu, Matthew Armstrong, Brooklyn Fraser, Pahkala, K, Hutri-Kahonen, N, Kahonen, M, Laitinen, T, Viikari, JSA, Raitakari, OT, Costan MagnussenCostan Magnussen, James SharmanJames Sharman

Background: Blood pressure associates with arterial stiffness, but the contribution of blood pressure at different life stages is unclear. We examined the relative contribution of childhood, young‐ and mid‐adulthood blood pressure to mid‐adulthood large artery stiffness.

Methods and Results: The sample comprised 1869 participants from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study who had blood pressure measured in childhood (6-18 years), young‐adulthood (21-30 years), and mid‐adulthood (33-45 years). Markers of large artery stiffness were pulse wave velocity and carotid distensibility recorded in mid‐adulthood. Bayesian relevant life course exposure models were used. For each 10‐mm Hg higher cumulative systolic blood pressure across the life stages, pulse wave velocity was 0.56 m/s higher (95% credible interval: 0.49 to 0.63) and carotid distensibility was 0.13%/10 mm Hg lower (95% credible interval: -0.16 to -0.10). Of these total contributions, the highest contribution was attributed to mid‐adulthood systolic blood pressure (relative weights: pulse wave velocity, childhood: 2.6%, young‐adulthood: 5.4%, mid‐adulthood: 92.0%; carotid distensibility, childhood: 5.6%; young‐adulthood: 10.1%; mid‐adulthood: 84.3%), with the greatest individual contribution coming from systolic blood pressure at the time point when pulse wave velocity and carotid distensibility were measured. The results were consistent for diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, and pulse pressure.

Conclusions: Although mid‐adulthood blood pressure contributed most to mid‐adulthood large artery stiffness, we observed small contributions from childhood and young‐adulthood blood pressure. These findings suggest that the burden posed by arterial stiffness might be reduced by maintaining normal blood pressure levels at each life stage, with mid‐adulthood a critical period for controlling blood pressure.


Publication title

Journal of the American Heart Association





Article number









Menzies Institute for Medical Research


Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

© 2022 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley Blackwell. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs (CC BY 4.0) License ( which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

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  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions

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