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Grant Norman, Brantley K. Ballenger, Sydni L. Carter, Stamatis Agiovlasitis, FACSM. Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS.

BACKGROUND: Adults with Down syndrome (DS) have decreased levels of arterial stiffness compared to same age peers without Down syndrome (non-DS). This is thought to be due to lower blood pressure among adults with DS. The purpose of this study was to compare central and peripheral arterial stiffness between adults with and without DS who were matched for age and blood pressure. METHODS: Seventeen adults with DS (age 38±9 yrs.; 10 men) and 17 adults without DS (age 36±11 yrs.; 7 men) underwent measurement of body composition by bioelectrical impedance. Central and peripheral arterial hemodynamics and stiffness were measured by carotid-femoral (CF-PWV) and carotid-radial pulse wave velocity (CR-PWV) analysis, respectively. Independent samples t-tests were performed to investigate differences between groups in hemodynamics, arterial stiffness, and augmentation index (AIx). RESULTS: No significant differences were present between groups for central or peripheral systolic blood pressure (p=.320; p=.194), diastolic blood pressure (p=.102), or mean arterial pressure (p=.251). Significant differences were present between groups for height (DS: 151±9 cm, non-DS: 172±12 cm, p<.001), BMI (DS: 33±5 kg/m2, non-DS: 26±5 kg/m2, p<.001), and body fat percentage (DS: 32±7%, non-DS: 27±9%, p=.042), but not for weight (DS: 77±13 kg, non-DS: 77±21 kg, p=.496). CF-PWV was significantly greater in non-DS (DS: 6±1 m/s, non-DS: 8±2 m/s, p=.012), but no differences were present between groups for CR-PWV (DS: 9±2 m/s, non-DS: 10±3 m/s, p=.139). Peripheral AIx was significantly greater in adults with DS (DS: 10±21 percent, non-DS: -7±20 percent, p=.012), but central AIx did not differ between groups (DS: 2±20 percent, non-DS: -8±21 percent, p=.088). CONCLUSION: Our findings confirm past research demonstrating lower central arterial stiffness in adults with than without DS. However, we found no difference between groups for peripheral arterial stiffness. These findings may be due to differences in body fat percentage or AIx between groups. Funding: Mississippi State University Office of Research and Economic Development and I’m An Athlete Foundation

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