Pulse wave velocity as a measure of arterial stiffness in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Željko Reiner, Luis E. Simental-Mendía, Massimiliano Ruscica, Niki Katsiki, MacIej Banach, Khalid Al Rasadi, Tannaz Jamialahmadi, Amirhossein Sahebkar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The aim of this meta-analysis was to establish whether vascular pulse wave velocity (PWV) as a measure of arterial stiffness is changed in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). Material and methods: Studies comparing PWV between patients with FH and controls were searched in PubMed-Medline, SCOPUS, Web of Science and Google Scholar databases (up to November 26, 2017). A meta-analysis was conducted using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis V2 software. A random-effects model (using the DerSimonian-Laird method) and the generic inverse variance method were used to compensate for the heterogeneity of studies concerning demographic characteristics and differences in the studies' design. Results: This meta-analysis of 8 studies involving 317 patients with FH and 244 non-FH individuals did not suggest a significantly altered PWV in FH patients versus controls (weighted mean difference (WMD): 0.17 m/s, 95% confidence interval (CI): -0.31, 0.65, p = 0.489; I2 = 80.15%). The result was robust in the sensitivity analysis and its significance was not influenced after omitting each of the included studies from the meta-analysis. Subanalysis of 6 of these studies which had data on intima-media thickness (IMT) indicated an increased IMT in FH patients when compared with controls (WMD = 0.03 mm, 95% CI: 0.003, 0.06, p = 0.034; I2 = 48.95%). However, the effect size was sensitive to some of the included studies. Conclusions: This meta-analysis suggests that FH patients do not have significantly altered PWV when compared with normocholesterolemic individuals. However, a subanalysis of studies in which IMT was measured indicated that IMT is increased in FH patients compared with controls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1365-1374
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Medical Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Arterial stiffness
  • Familial hypercholesterolemia
  • Intima-media thickness
  • Pulse wave velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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