diabetes risk

Arterial Stiffness, Hypertension for Predicting Diabetes Risk

Arterial stiffness (AS) is associated with diabetes and may be a better predictor of future risk of type 2 diabetes than hypertension, according to the results of a study published in Hypertension.1

Investigators compared blood pressure measures vs levels of AS on the risk of diabetes in 11,156 participants from the Kailuan study. Participants were categorized into 1 of 4 groups; normotension with normal AS (ideal vascular function), normotension with elevated AS, hypertension with normal AS, and hypertension with elevated AS. Brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity was used to measure AS levels.

A total of 768 participants had diabetes after the median follow up of 6.16 years. Individuals in the hypertension with elevated AS group had the highest risk of diabetes when compared with the ideal vascular function group (hazard ratio [HR] 2.42; 95% CI, 1.93-3.03). The normotension with elevated AS group had the next highest risk of diabetes (HR 2.11; 95% CI, 1.68-2.66) followed by the hypertension with normal AS group (HR 1.48, 95% CI, 1.08-2.02).

Similar results were observed for multiple sensitivity and subgroup analyses. Including AS instead of hypertension in predictive models with traditional risk factors had an increased effect on the predictive value for diabetes.

“We were surprised to find that people with increased arterial stiffness were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, whether they had high blood pressure or not,” concluded Anxin Wang, PhD, China National Clinical Research Center for Neurological Diseases (Beijing, China), in a press release.2 “These results provide strong evidence that measuring arterial stiffness may be a better predictor than blood pressure in determining an individual’s future risk of type 2 diabetes.”


—Leigh Precopio



  1. Tian X, Zuo Y, Chen S, et al. Hypertension, arterial stiffness, and diabetes: a prospective cohort study. Hypertension. Published online May 16, 2022. doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.122.19256
  2. Artery stiffness may predict type 2 diabetes risk better than BP and standard risk factors. News release. American Heart Association; May 16, 2022. Accessed June 1, 2022.