Pulse pressure is inversely related to aortic root diameter implications for the pathogenesis of systolic hypertension

S. Morteza Farasat, Christopher H. Morrell, Angelo Scuteri, Chih Tai Ting, Frank C.P. Yin, Harold A. Spurgeon, Chen Huan Chen, Edward G. Lakatta, Samer S. Najjar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Hypertension accelerates the age-associated increase in aortic root diameter (AoD), likely because of chronically elevated distending pressures. However, the pulsatile component of blood pressure may have a different relationship with AoD. We sought to assess the relationship between AoD and pulse pressure (PP) while accounting for left ventricular and central arterial structural and functional properties, which are known to influence PP. The study population was composed of 1256 individuals, aged 30 to 79 years (48% women and 48% hypertensive), none of whom were on antihypertensive medications. Blood pressure was measured in the sitting position with conventional sphygmomanometry. PP was calculated as the difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressures. AoD was measured at end diastole at the level of the sinuses of Valsalva with echocardiography. The relationship between AoD and PP was evaluated with multiple regression analyses. PP was 50±14 mm Hg in men and 54±18 mm Hg in women, and AoD was 31.9±3.5 mm in men and 28.9±3.5 mm in women. After adjusting for age, age, height, weight, and mean arterial pressure, AoD was independently and inversely associated with PP in both sexes. After further adjustments for central arterial stiffness and wall thickness, reflected waves, and left ventricular geometry, AoD remained inversely associated with PP in both men (coefficient=-0.48; P=0.0003; model R=0.51) and women (coefficient=-0.40; P=0.01; model R=0.61). Thus, AoD is inversely associated with PP, suggesting that a small AoD may contribute to the pathogenesis of systolic hypertension. Longitudinal studies are needed to examine this possibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-202
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Aorta
  • Pulse pressure
  • Sinus of Valsalva
  • Systolic hypertension


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