Anti-Aging Research: Pulse Wave Analysis



For additional information regarding Pulse Wave Analysis (PWA), please read: (1) (2)



Blood Pressure and Pulse Wave Analysis (PWA)

Cardiovascular Health Assessment

Simple, painless assessment of arterial stiffness and cardiovascular status

Why do I need this test?

Heart disease affects more people than any other disease or illness, and can develop without any symptoms. Some people may not be aware of heart disease until they have a heart attack, stroke or other health problem. A growing number of cardiovascular risk factors, including diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure and age, have been linked to heart attack, stroke and heart failure. These factors often lead to stiffer arteries, which in turn increases resistance and therefore increases the work that the heart must do.

Blood pressure Pulse Wave Analysis is new technology that assists your doctor in assessing your arterial and cardiovascular health. Blood pressure measured in your arm is not the same as the blood pressure at your heart. It is your blood pressure at your heart that affects the performance of your heart, and pulse wave analysis determines your blood pressure at your heart and gives your doctor valuable information about the interaction between your heart and blood vessels. This new technique therefore complements the conventional blood pressure cuff and provides additional information on cardiac function.

What do the measurements mean?

Augmentation Index (AIx) Augmentation Index is a measure of the stiffness of your arteries. High cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, and aging can all cause the vessels that take blood from the heart (the arteries) to become stiffer. As the arteries become stiffer the heart must work harder due to the extra load on the heart.

Ejection Duration (ED) Each time our heart beats, it has a time when it is contracting and pumping blood out of the heart, and a time when it is resting and filling with blood. The ED is a measurement of how much time the heart spends pumping. When the heart spends a shorter time than normal pumping there may be problems with the ability to pump blood, while longer than normal pumping time may indicate problems with the ability for the heart to relax and fill with blood.

Subendocardial Viability Ratio (SEVR) When the heart is resting, the heart muscle is supplied with oxygen for energy. When the heart is contracting and pumping this energy is being used. The SEVR is a measure of the ability of the arterial system to meet the heart’s energy requirements. As this ratio decreases, the heart has less energy reserves available and may have a lower tolerance for physical activity.

How is a Pulse Wave Analysis assessment done?

The test is simple and painless, taking only a few minutes to perform. while you are seated in a comfortable position, the nurse or doctor will place a pencil-like sensor gently against your wrist and record a blood pressure signal from your pulse. From this recording, the Pulse Wave Analysis system will calculate the pressure waveform at the heart and provide your physician with cardiovascular measurements such as Alx, ED and SEVR.

Why are the Pulse Wave Analysis measurements important? Heart disease can be treated using a combination of diet, exercise and drug therapies. Your doctor will use this information to assist with making decisions on whether you need treatment, and if so what treatment options are best for you. It is important for your physician to see how your cardiovascular assessment changes in response to treatment.

What do I do now?

Talk to your physician about your cardiovascular risk factors, many of which may be improved by lifestyle changes and medicines. Your doctor will discuss with you how often your Pulse Wave Analysis measurements should be repeated.

Do you have any of the following risk factors?

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes or Renal Disease
  • High Blood Cholesterol
  • Overweight
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Age over 40
  • Physical Inactivity

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