Biological aortic age derived from the arterial pressure waveform

Shigeki Shibata, Benjamin D. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Biological aortic age derived from the arterial pressure waveform. J Appl Physiol 110: 981-987, 2011. First published February 3, 2011; doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.01261.2010.- Indexes for arterial stiffness are, by their nature, influenced by the ambient blood pressure due to the curvilinear nature of arterial compliance. We developed a new concept of the "Modelflow aortic age," which is, theoretically, not influenced by the ambient blood pressure and provides an easily understood context (biological vs. chronological age) for measures of arterial stiffness. The purpose of the present study was to validate this pressure-independent index for aortic stiffness in humans. Twelve sedentary elderly (65-77 yr), 11 Masters athletes (65-73 yr), and 12 sedentary young individuals (20-42 yr) were studied. Modelflow aortic ages were comparable with chronological ages in both sedentary groups, indicating that healthy sedentary individuals have age-appropriate aortas. In contrast, Masters athletes showed younger Modelflow aortic ages than their chronological ages. The coefficient of variation of sedentary subjects was three times smaller with the Modelflow aortic age (21%) than with other indexes, such as static systemic arterial stiffness (61%), central pulse wave velocity (61%), or carotid β-stiffness index (58%). The typical error was very small and two times smaller in the Modelflow aortic age ( < 7%) than in static systemic arterial stiffness (>13%) during cardiac unloading by lower body negative pressure. The Modelflow aortic age can more precisely and reliably estimate aortic stiffening with aging and modifiers, such as life-long exercise training compared with the pressure-dependent index of static systemic arterial stiffness, and provides a physiologically relevant and clinically compelling context for such measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-987
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


  • Aging
  • Arterial stiffness
  • Modelflow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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