A simple, non-invasive method helps to measure both arterial stiffness and blood pressure simultaneously.
Not only does arterial stiffness increase hypertension but hypertension can exacerbate arterial stiffness in a self perpetuating spiral. Arterial stiffness is also associated with type 2 diabetes and is involved in the development of the circulatory problems. However, arterial stiffness can be addressed, if caught early enough, by diet and exercise so early detection is essential. Typically arterial pressure is measured using tonomography or ultrasound but both of these are difficult to perform and consequently are often inaccurate.
Researchers from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan, determined arterial stiffness using the relationship between cuff pressure and arterial volume. This was calculated using pulse pressure (systolic - diastolic) and the amplitude of cuff oscillations. Readings were combined to produce an arterial stiffness index (API). To test the validity of this new method, API results from over 100 volunteers were compared to arterial stiffness determined by pulse wave velocity (tonomography) and carotid arterial compliance (ultrasound).