Aortic stiffness and ethnic differences

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging recently published an observational article from the Dallas Heart Study, based out of UTSW, which found ethnic differences in Aortic stiffness. Aortic compliance has previously been shown to be associated with higher rates of hypertension, myocardial infarction, stroke, and death. This study, using cardiac magnetic resonance parameters, was the first to show that African-Americans have the highest prevalence of Aortic stiffness, followed by Hispanics. The differences in Aortic compliance between ethnicities may in part explain the correlated differences in hypertension. The authors state that they do not know why different ethnic groups would have varying average Aortic compliance, but postulate that it may be related to differences in average dietary sodium intake or vascular collagen content.
Interview with the authors
Link to article
– Rick Mills, MD
PGY2, Internal Medicine