This phenomenon is called Early Vascular Ageing (EVA) and is mainly based on ahead of time remodeling and structural changing (stiffening) of the arterial wall especially in the media layer. In particular, arterial stiffness plays a central role in the increased cardiovascular risk which occurs to some people sooner than others. Arterial stiffness happens gradually and can be the cause and effect of hypertension in a vicious cycle. From a long-term perspective, monitoring and maybe even directly treating arterial stiffness might be key to preventing hypertension and consequently further end-organ damage.
Pulse wave velocity (PWV) is one of the most important parameters of Early Vascular Ageing and can be used everywhere blood pressure is measured today: as a single measurement e.g. in a doctor’s office, in a clinic, and as trend monitoring at home.
For a better understanding of the overall cardiovascular risk, the determination of PWV in high-risk patients should be an essential part of future routine medical practice.