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There’s no slowing arterial stiffening

Mar. 29, 2022, 8:00 AM

by Paul Govern

Age related stiffening of the central arterial system is associated with problems such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, stroke, atrial fibrillation and heart failure. Time and again, the search for healthy behaviors to reliably slow arterial stiffening has come up empty.  

Yacob Tedla, PhD, and colleagues wondered whether multiple healthy behaviors would, in the aggregate, slow the progression of arterial stiffening. 

They defined optimal lifestyle as maintaining a normal body mass index, no smoking, moderate-to-zero alcohol consumption and regular exercise. Using these dimensions, they scored lifestyles of 2,810 participants, ages 44 to 84 (at baseline), in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 

Their report appears in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension. 

Over a 10-year period with multiple study visits, compared to people in the quintile with the least optimal lifestyle scores, that is, quintile one, people in quintiles 2-5 of optimal lifestyle score, notwithstanding other health benefits they would have derived, showed no slowing in the progression of arterial stiffness.

Tedla was joined in the study by researchers from the University of WisconsinMadison, the University of Manitoba and Northwestern University. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (HHSN268201500003I). 

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