Association of body mass index with arterial stiffness and blood pressure components: A twin study

Adam Domonkos Tarnoki, David Laszlo Tarnoki, Leonie H. Bogl, Emanuela Medda, Corrado Fagnani, Lorenza Nisticò, Maria Antonietta Stazi, Sonia Brescianini, Pierleone Lucatelli, Emanuele Boatta, Chiara Zini, Fabrizio Fanelli, Claudio Baracchini, Giorgio Meneghetti, Janos Osztovits, Gyorgy Jermendy, Robert Gabor Kiss, Istvan Preda, Kinga Karlinger, Agnes LannertAndrea Agnes Molnar, Levente Littvay, Zsolt Garami, Viktor Berczi, Giacomo Pucci, Gyorgy Baffy, Giuseppe Schillaci, Kirsi H. Pietiläinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Rationale: Obesity, blood pressure and arterial stiffness are heritable traits interconnected to each other but their possible common genetic and environmental etiologies are unknown. Methods: We studied 228 monozygotic and 150 dizygotic twin pairs aged 18-82 years from Italy, Hungary and the United States, of which 45 monozygotic and 38 dizygotic pairs were discordant for body mass index (BMI; intrapair difference (δ) in BMI≥3kg/m2). Blood pressure components and arterial stiffness were measured by TensioMed Arteriograph. Results: Hypertension was more prevalent among obese than non-obese individuals (55% vs. 29%, p<0.001). Age-, sex- and country-adjusted heritability estimates were high for hemodynamic measures (45%-58%) and BMI (78%). According to bivariate Cholesky decomposition, phenotypic correlations between BMI and blood pressure components (r=-0.15 to 0.24, p<0.05) were largely explained by additive genetic factors (65%-77%) with the remaining explained by the unique environment. When controlling for genetic factors within all monozygotic pairs, δBMI was significantly correlated with δbrachial systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), δmean arterial pressure, and δaortic SBP (r=0.15-0.17, p<0.05). For the same measures, heavier co-twins of BMI-discordant monozygotic pairs had significantly higher values than their leaner counterparts (p<0.05).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-395
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Augmentation index
  • Central blood pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Pulse wave velocity
  • Twin study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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