Arterial stiffness and gait speed in older adults with and without peripheral arterial disease

Nora L. Watson, Kim Sutton-Tyrrell, Ada O. Youk, Robert M. Boudreau, Rachel H. MacKey, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Caterina Rosano, Susan E. Hardy, B. Gwen Windham, Tamara B. Harris, Samer S. Najjar, Edward G. Lakatta, Hal H. Atkinson, Karen C. Johnson, Douglas C. Bauer, Anne B. Nemwan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background Central arterial stiffness is increasingly recognized as an important predictor of cardiovascular events and mortality in older adults; however, few studies have evaluated the association of arterial stiffness with mobility decline, a common consequence of vascular disease. Methods We analyzed the association of pulse wave velocity (PWV), a measure of aortic stiffness, with longitudinal gait speed over 7 years in 2,172 participants in the Health, Aging and Body Composition (ABC) Study (mean age s.d. 73.6±2.9 years, 48% men, 39% black). Results In mixed-effects models adjusted for demographics, each s.d. (396cm/s) higher PWV was associated with<0.015 (s.e.<0.004) m/s slower gait at baseline and throughout the study period in the full cohort (P<0.001); this relationship was largely explained by hypertension and other vascular risk factors. Among participants with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) (n = 261; 12.7%), each s.d. higher PWV was independently associated with<0.028 (s.e.<0.010) m/s slower gait speed at baseline and throughout the study period (P<0.01). Conclusions These findings suggest that aortic stiffness may be especially detrimental to mobility in older adults with already compromised arterial function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-95
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • aging
  • arterial stiffness
  • blood pressure
  • hypertension
  • peripheral arterial disease
  • physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Arterial stiffness and gait speed in older adults with and without peripheral arterial disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this