International Society of Hypertension

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A health profile associated with excessive alcohol use independently predicts aortic stiffness over 10 years in black South Africans.

Maritz M, Fourie CMT, van Rooyen JM, Kruger IM, Schutte AE.

J Hypertens. 2017 Nov;35(11):2268-2275. PMID:28665888

Melissa Maritz (South Africa) 

1) Summarize your work in one sentence.

In this longitudinal study, we identified possible predictors of aortic stiffness, a validated predictor of future cardiovascular disease and events, amongst traditional cardiovascular risk factors or health behaviours in black South Africans, a population known to be at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

2) Summarize your findings in one sentence.

In this population, a health profile associated with excessive alcohol use, which includes factors like an urban setting, high plasma glucose and lower BMI, predicted arterial stiffness independent of age and blood pressure 10 year later.

3) Which were the more important methods you used in this work? If it is not a traditional method you can briefly explain the concept of that methodology.

To measure arterial stiffness, we performed carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity measurements with the SphygmoCor XCEL device, according to the transit-distance method and the most recent recommendations on the measurement of aortic stiffness (Van Bortel et al. J Hypertens, 30(3)445-8;2012). All other measurements and analyses were performed according to standardised methods.

4) What did you learn from this paper, what was your take-home message?

Excessive alcohol use is a public health challenge, not only in low and middle income countries, but also developed countries, and based on our findings it is significantly related to aortic stiffness. Public health-promoting strategies that target alcohol overuse is therefore urgently needed to curb the growing epidemic of cardiovascular disease. 



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