Time course and determinants of arterial stiffening

Study code

Lead researcher
Professor Kevin O'Shaughnessy

Study type
Participant re-contact

Institution or company
University of Cambridge

Researcher type

Speciality area
Cardiovascular Disease

Recruitment Site


As we get older, our arteries stiffen. This leads to an increase in blood pressure and places us at greater risk of strokes and heart attacks. We are not sure how quickly our arteries stiffen, or whether they stiffen more quickly in older, than in younger people. Also, the reasons our arteries stiffen with age are not well understood.

We now have the means to assess arterial stiffness. The aim of this study is to measure how quickly arteries stiffen over time, and why they stiffen. 

Participation: For this study we recruited 206 volunteers from the Cambridge BioResource to attend two study visits. The visits consisted of:

  • Complete a detailed medical history questionnaire 
  • Blood pressure measurements 
  • Have their arterial stiffness measured with probes placed on their main arteries 
  • Cardiac output and lung function measurements 
  • ECG 
  • Have a photograph taken of their eye 
  • Give a 50ml blood sample 

After the main visit the volunteer was asked to: 

  • Collect their urine for 24 hours 
  • Wear a blood pressure monitor for 24 hours 

Organisation: The research is being conducted by Professor Kevin O'shaughnessy from the University of Cambridge.