Impact of Body Mass Index on Arterial Stiffness in Young Prehypertensives: A Cross Sectional Study

Velusami Deepika, R Vijayakumar


Background: Obesity and hypertension pose a big threat to public health. Targeting the prehypertension stage to evaluate the vascular damage due to obesity can help us to plan early interventions.

Study design: A cross-sectional study.

Methods: This study  as a part of the medical heath checkup program was conducted by the Medical College in Puducherry, India on all medical students of age group 18-25 years. Blood pressure (BP) recordings and body mass index (BMI) were classified into following four groups: Group1: Normotensives with normal BMI (n=109); Group 2: Normotensives with higher BMI (n=89); Group 3: Prehypertensive subjects with normal BMI (n=50); and Group 4: Prehypertensive subjects with higher BMI (n=99). Arterial stiffness, body fat composition, and lipid profile were evaluated. Correlation of arterial stiffness indices with BMI, BP, body fat, visceral fat, lipid profile were done using Pearson’s correlation and the contribution of BMI to arterial stiffness was assessed using univariate regression analysis.

Results: BMI, arterial stiffness, body fat, visceral fat, total cholesterol and total triglyceride showed a significant increase in prehypertensive group with higher BMI as compared to other groups. BMI showed significant correlation with arterial stiffness (P<0.0001) and found to be an independent contributing factor for arterial stiffness development in prehypertensives.

Conclusions: Vascular damage was seen in the prehypertensive stage itself and was more pronounced in individuals with higher BMI.



Body mass index; Prehypertension;Arterial stiffness

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