Artery Research

Volume 27, Issue 3, September 2021, Pages 129 - 134

Association between Life Stressors and Arterial Stiffness: The Finnish Retirement and Aging Study

Authors
Saana Karelius1, 2, *, Jussi Vahtera3, 4, Olli J. Heinonen5, Teemu J. Niiranen1, 2, 6, , Sari Stenholm2, 3,
1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Turku, Turku 20014, Finland
2Division of Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
3Department of Public Health, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
4Centre for Population Health Research, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
5Paavo Nurmi Centre & Unit for Health and Physical Activity, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
6Department of Public Health Solutions, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland

The authors contributed equally to this work.

*Corresponding author. Email: sekkar@utu.fi
Corresponding Author
Saana Karelius
Received 12 November 2020, Accepted 22 May 2021, Available Online 13 June 2021.
DOI
https://doi.org/10.2991/artres.k.210608.001How to use a DOI?
Keywords
Ageing, blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, occupational health, stress, pulse wave velocity
Abstract

Objective: Besides traditional risk factors, other factors such as life stressors are linked with incident cardiovascular disease. However, the underlying mechanisms for this association remain mostly unknown. We studied the relation of life stressors (job strain, sleep loss due to worry, illness or death in family, financial difficulties and caregiving) and their accumulation with arterial stiffness, an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease.

Methods: 258 participants (mean age 62.4 years, 82% women) from the Finnish Retirement and Aging Study underwent measurements for carotid-femoral Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV), a standard criterion for assessing arterial stiffness and responded to a survey inquiring life stressors. Using analysis of covariance, we estimated group means adjusted for age, gender, occupation, lifestyle factors and hypertension.

Results: Participants with recent illness or death in family (8.04 m/s; 95% CI, 7.40–8.73 vs. 7.52 m/s; 95% CI, 7.03–8.05) and financial difficulties (8.65 m/s; 95% CI, 7.62–9.81 vs. 7.71 m/s; 95% CI, 7.21–8.24) had increased PWV compared to those who did not have exposed to these stressors independent of lifestyle factors, diabetes and systolic blood pressure. In addition, increasing number of life stressors demonstrated an association towards increased PWV (≥2 stressors: 8.04 m/s; 95% CI, 7.42–8.72 vs. 0 stressors 7.74 m/s; 95% CI, 7.23–8.28; p for trend 0.27) but the association attenuated after adjusting for lifestyle factors, diabetes and systolic blood pressure.

Conclusion: Life stress was found to associate with higher arterial stiffness. Increased arterial stiffness could explain some of the increased cardiovascular disease risk related to life stressors.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Arterial stiffness was assesed as carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity.

  • Illness or death in the family were associated with an increased arterial stiffness.

  • Financial difficulties were associated with an increased arterial stiffness.

  • A trend toward increasing number of stressors and higher arterial stiffness exists.

Copyright
© 2021 The Authors. Publishing services by Atlantis Press International B.V.
Open Access
This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).

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Journal
Artery Research
Volume-Issue
27 - 3
Pages
129 - 134
Publication Date
2021/06/13
ISSN (Online)
1876-4401
ISSN (Print)
1872-9312
DOI
https://doi.org/10.2991/artres.k.210608.001How to use a DOI?
Copyright
© 2021 The Authors. Publishing services by Atlantis Press International B.V.
Open Access
This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).

Cite this article

TY  - JOUR
AU  - Saana Karelius
AU  - Jussi Vahtera
AU  - Olli J. Heinonen
AU  - Teemu J. Niiranen
AU  - Sari Stenholm
PY  - 2021
DA  - 2021/06/13
TI  - Association between Life Stressors and Arterial Stiffness: The Finnish Retirement and Aging Study
JO  - Artery Research
SP  - 129
EP  - 134
VL  - 27
IS  - 3
SN  - 1876-4401
UR  - https://doi.org/10.2991/artres.k.210608.001
DO  - https://doi.org/10.2991/artres.k.210608.001
ID  - Karelius2021
ER  -