Why is arterial elasticity so important?
Healthy arteries are flexible and elastic - they expand and
briefly store blood from each heart beat thereby helping the
heart move blood to all areas in your body. Unhealthy or
diseased arteries are often stiff or hardened – placing
extra strain on the heart and the artery wall which can
result in heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, kidney
failure and/or sudden death. These abnormalities of the
arteries can occur years or decades before you start
experiencing symptoms. The sooner cardiovascular disease is
identified, the sooner you can do something about it.
Who should be screened for blood vessel
Since cardiovascular disease is often silent, it is
important for everyone between the ages of 15 and 65 to be
screened and establish a baseline evaluation. If you are
between the ages of 15 and 65 and you have a family history
of cardiovascular disease or diabetes, and/or you have risk
factors for cardiovascular disease such as smoking,
diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, lack of regular
exercise, it is very important that you establish a baseline
evaluation of your artery elasticity as soon as possible.
This assessment can provide you with some indication of the
risk for cardiovascular disease that you may have inherited.
Does medication or smoking have an impact
on arterial elasticity?
Yes. Just like any other physiologic tests, such as
measuring blood pressure, arterial elasticity may vary
throughout the day and will be influenced to some degree by
stress, drugs and other environmental influences (for
example, drinking beverages with caffeine, smoking tobacco
products or eating high-fat meals). In general, however, any
variability around an arterial elasticity value will still
identify the individual’s risk.
How often should I get a CVProfile™ test?
If you are at a low risk level, a CVProfile™ test every 2-3
years is sufficient. If your risk level is moderate to high,
however, you should consider a CVProfile™ test annually or
more depending on the risk reduction program you and your
doctor develop to improve your health.
Can I improve my elasticity values?
Yes. The sooner cardiovascular disease risk is
identified, the sooner you and your physician can do
something about it. A risk reduction/treatment plan that can
improve the elasticity of your arteries and your general
health may consist of a low-fat diet, increased exercise,
quitting smoking, decreasing alcohol consumption, losing
weight or possibly taking medication. A disease prevention
plan may stop and possibly reverse the progressive
stiffening of arteries that often precedes heart attacks and
Do elasticity values vary between men and
Overall, women have less elasticity than men, however,
cardiovascular disease occurs at all ages in both men and
How much can my elasticity values change
Your elasticity values may change by 20%. These changes can
result from stress, drugs and other environmental influences
(for example, drinking beverages with caffeine, smoking
tobacco products or eating high-fat meals). In general,
however, any variability around an arterial elasticity value
will still identify the individual’s risk.
What do I do if my elasticity values show
that I am at moderate or high risk?
If you are at high risk, you should make an appointment to
see your physician so that he/she can conduct further
testing to determine the root cause(s) or your risk. You may
have high cholesterol or other identifiable issues that can
be treated. Your physician can help to develop a risk
reduction/treatment plan that can improve the elasticity of
your arteries and your general health.
Is diabetes a cardiovascular disease?
Diabetes actually causes vascular damage and thus puts
diabetic patients at an increased risk of vascular disease
and coronary heart disease. Vascular disease is accelerated
in diabetic patients and accounts for approximately 80% of
all deaths in diabetics.
How can I get more information on
Information on arterial elasticity may be obtained here:
Science Behind the