gms | German Medical Science

Physical activity and successful aging
10th International EGREPA Conference

European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity

14.09. - 16.09.2006 in Köln

Determination of vascular age: Pulse wave velocity and augmentation index

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author J. Baulmann - University of Bonn, Germany
  • M. Monshausen - University of Bonn, Germany
  • S. Ün - University of Bonn, Germany
  • R. Düsing - University of Bonn, Germany
  • H. Vetter - University of Bonn, Germany
  • T. Mengden - University of Bonn, Germany

Physical activity and successful aging. Xth International EGREPA Conference. Cologne, 14.-16.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06pasa007

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: December 18, 2006

© 2006 Baulmann et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Pulse wave velocity (PWV) as a marker for arterial stiffness and augmentation index (AIx) as a measure of arterial wave reflection are both increasing with age. PWV and AIx are widely accepted to represent the age and the status of stiffness of the arterial tree wall. Correlations of PWV to cardiovascular risk factors are known among others to age, systolic blood pressure, pulse pressure, left ventricular hypertrophy and coronary heart disease. PWV itself is proven to be a powerful cardiovascular risk factor in predicting mortality in the elderly, in patients with end-stage renal failure, with diabetes and in hypertensives.

Augmentation index serves as an indirect marker of arterial stiffness and a direct marker for wave reflection. AIx itself is proven to be a powerful cardiovascular risk factor. In patients with end-stage renal failure, augmentation index also is an independent predictor of mortality. Augmentation correlates with left ventricular mass in hypertensives and in normotensive young men. AIx is as an independent risk marker for premature coronary artery disease in men younger than 60 years.

PWV and AIx are increasing with age, but not giving the same information about the arterial function. Determination of both PWV and AIx gives a broad information concerning the age and the condition of the arterial tree wall. The prognostic value of arterial stiffness is high and increasingly in the focus of research.

After the session follows a practical demonstration of measurement of augmentation and pulse wave velocity with the arteriograph.