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      New insights into arterial stiffening: does sex matter?

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          Abstract

          <p class="first" id="d668379e213">This review discusses sexual dimorphism in arterial stiffening, disease pathology interactions, and the influence of sex on mechanisms and pathways. Arterial stiffness predicts cardiovascular mortality independent of blood pressure. Patients with increased arterial stiffness have a 48% higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Like other cardiovascular pathologies, arterial stiffness is sexually dimorphic. Young women have lower stiffness than aged-matched men, but this sex difference reverses during normal aging. Estrogen therapy does not attenuate progressive stiffening in postmenopausal women, indicating that currently prescribed drugs do not confer protection. Although remodeling of large arteries is a protective adaptation to higher wall stress, arterial stiffening increases afterload to the left ventricle and transmits higher pulsatile pressure to smaller arteries and target organs. Moreover, an increase in aortic stiffness may precede or exacerbate hypertension, particularly during aging. Additional studies are needed to elucidate the mechanisms by which females are protected from arterial stiffness to provide insight into its mechanisms and, ultimately, therapeutic targets for treating this pathology. </p>

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          Most cited references191

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          Inflammation, immunity, and hypertensive end-organ damage.

          For >50 years, it has been recognized that immunity contributes to hypertension. Recent data have defined an important role of T cells and various T cell-derived cytokines in several models of experimental hypertension. These studies have shown that stimuli like angiotensin II, deoxycorticosterone acetate-salt, and excessive catecholamines lead to formation of effector like T cells that infiltrate the kidney and perivascular regions of both large arteries and arterioles. There is also accumulation of monocyte/macrophages in these regions. Cytokines released from these cells, including interleukin-17, interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factorα, and interleukin-6 promote both renal and vascular dysfunction and damage, leading to enhanced sodium retention and increased systemic vascular resistance. The renal effects of these cytokines remain to be fully defined, but include enhanced formation of angiotensinogen, increased sodium reabsorption, and increased renal fibrosis. Recent experiments have defined a link between oxidative stress and immune activation in hypertension. These have shown that hypertension is associated with formation of reactive oxygen species in dendritic cells that lead to formation of gamma ketoaldehydes, or isoketals. These rapidly adduct to protein lysines and are presented by dendritic cells as neoantigens that activate T cells and promote hypertension. Thus, cells of both the innate and adaptive immune system contribute to end-organ damage and dysfunction in hypertension. Therapeutic interventions to reduce activation of these cells may prove beneficial in reducing end-organ damage and preventing consequences of hypertension, including myocardial infarction, heart failure, renal failure, and stroke.
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            Association of testosterone therapy with mortality, myocardial infarction, and stroke in men with low testosterone levels.

            Rates of testosterone therapy are increasing and the effects of testosterone therapy on cardiovascular outcomes and mortality are unknown. A recent randomized clinical trial of testosterone therapy in men with a high prevalence of cardiovascular diseases was stopped prematurely due to adverse cardiovascular events raising concerns about testosterone therapy safety. To assess the association between testosterone therapy and all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction (MI), or stroke among male veterans and to determine whether this association is modified by underlying coronary artery disease. A retrospective national cohort study of men with low testosterone levels (<300 ng/dL) who underwent coronary angiography in the Veterans Affairs (VA) system between 2005 and 2011. Primary outcome was a composite of all-cause mortality, MI, and ischemic stroke. Of the 8709 men with a total testosterone level lower than 300 ng/dL, 1223 patients started testosterone therapy after a median of 531 days following coronary angiography. Of the 1710 outcome events, 748 men died, 443 had MIs, and 519 had strokes. Of 7486 patients not receiving testosterone therapy, 681 died, 420 had MIs, and 486 had strokes. Among 1223 patients receiving testosterone therapy, 67 died, 23 had MIs, and 33 had strokes. At 3 years after coronary angiography, the Kaplan-Meier estimated cumulative percentages with events were 19.9%in the no testosterone therapy group vs 25.7%in the testosterone therapy group,with an absolute risk difference of 5.8%(95%CI, -1.4%to 13.1%) [corrected].The Kaplan-Meier estimated cumulative percentages with events among the no testosterone therapy group vs testosterone therapy group at 1 year after coronary angiography were 10.1% vs 11.3%; at 2 years, 15.4% vs 18.5%; and at 3 years, 19.9% vs 25.7 [corrected].There was no significant difference in the effect size of testosterone therapy among those with and without coronary artery disease (test for interaction, P = .41). Among a cohort of men in the VA health care system who underwent coronary angiography and had a low serum testosterone level, the use of testosterone therapy was associated with increased risk of adverse outcomes. These findings may inform the discussion about the potential risks of testosterone therapy.
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              The influence of heart rate on augmentation index and central arterial pressure in humans.

              Arterial stiffness is an important determinant of cardiovascular risk. Augmentation index (AIx) is a measure of systemic arterial stiffness derived from the ascending aortic pressure waveform. The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of heart rate on AIx. We elected to use cardiac pacing rather than chronotropic drugs to minimize confounding effects on the systemic circulation and myocardial contractility. Twenty-two subjects (13 male) with a mean age of 63 years and permanent cardiac pacemakers in situ were studied. Pulse wave analysis was used to determine central arterial pressure waveforms, non-invasively, during incremental pacing (from 60 to 110 beats min-1), from which AIx and central blood pressure were calculated. Peripheral blood pressure was recorded non-invasively from the brachial artery. There was a significant, inverse, linear relationship between AIx and heart rate (r = -0.76; P < 0.001). For a 10 beats min-1 increment, AIx fell by around 4 %. Ejection duration and heart rate were also inversely related (r = -0. 51; P < 0.001). Peripheral systolic, diastolic and mean arterial pressure increased significantly during incremental pacing. Although central diastolic pressure increased significantly with pacing, central systolic pressure did not. There was a significant increase in the ratio of peripheral to central pulse pressure (P < 0.001), which was accounted for by the observed change in central pressure augmentation. These results demonstrate an inverse, linear relationship between AIx and heart rate. This is likely to be due to alterations in the timing of the reflected pressure wave, produced by changes in the absolute duration of systole. Consideration of wave reflection and aortic pressure augmentation may explain the lack of rise in central systolic pressure during incremental pacing despite an increase in peripheral pressure.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology
                American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology
                American Physiological Society
                0363-6135
                1522-1539
                November 2018
                November 2018
                : 315
                : 5
                : H1073-H1087
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Pharmacology, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
                [2 ]Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
                Article
                10.1152/ajpheart.00132.2018
                6415742
                30028199
                a895994e-5294-4d31-baba-f2764ea56b40
                © 2018
                History

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