Arterial stiffness is an independent predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) are considered as novel biomarkers that are useful in the prediction of early cardiovascular risk. We studied the relationship between carotid artery stiffness index β and the cardiovascular biomarkers BNP and hs-CRP in 55 consecutive subjects. Carotid artery stiffness was assessed using the stiffness index β derived from brachial artery blood pressure measurement and carotid ultrasonography. Venous blood samples were obtained for BNP and hs-CRP. Pearson's correlation coefficient suggested a strong bivariate relationship between carotid stiffness index β and age (r = 0.56, P < 0.0001), BNP (r = 0.45, P < 0.004) and hs-CRP (r = 0.26, P = 0.06), respectively. On multiple regression analysis, significant correlations were found between carotid stiffness index β and age (P = 0.004), BNP (P = 0.027) and hs-CRP (P = 0.029). These findings suggest that there is a relationship between intra-cardiac pressures (measured by BNP), vascular inflammation (measured by hs-CRP) and vascular stiffness. Cardiovascular biomarkers are thus associated with functional parameters of the vascular tree.
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