Navigation Links
Your finger's pulse holds the key to your heart's health

A University of Iowa physiologist has a new technique to measure the stiffness of the aorta, a common risk factor for heart disease. And it can be as simple as measuring the pulse in your finger.

The new procedure developed by Gary Pierce, assistant professor in the Department of Health and Human Physiology, works by placing an instrument called a transducer on the finger or over the brachial artery, located inside the arm just beneath the elbow. The readout, combined with a person's age and body mass index, lets physicians know whether the aorta has stiffened.

Currently, physicians see whether a patient has a hardened aorta by recording a pulse from the carotid artery, located in the neck, and the femoral artery, which is located in the groin. Taking a pulse from the finger or on the arm is easier to record and nearly as accurate, Pierce says. It also works better with obese patients, whose femoral pulse can be difficult to obtain reliably, he adds.

"The technique is more effective in that it is easy to obtain just one pulse waveform in the finger or the brachial artery, and it's less intrusive than obtaining a femoral waveform in patients," says Pierce, first author on the paper, published in the American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology. "It also can be easily obtained in the clinic during routine exams similar to blood pressure tests."

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, killing about 600,000 people every year, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One key to a healthy heart is a healthy aorta. A person's heart has to work harder when the aorta, the large artery that leaves the heart and delivers blood to the body's tissues, stiffens due to aging and an inactive lifestyle. The harder a person's heart needs to work, the higher risk he or she has for developing high blood pressure, stroke and a heart attack.

Since people can live for years without any knowledge of existing cardiovascular problems, this new measurement tool is especially important. It can provide useful diagnostic information for middle-aged and older patients, who are most susceptible to having hardened arteries that can lead to heart disease.

Regular assessments of the aorta may help reduce those risks. Pierce's instrument measures notes the speed, called aortic pulse wave velocity, at which the pulse moves between two points. The UI team validated the new instrument's performance against the carotid-femoral-artery pulse wave velocity tests, considered the gold standard for determining aortic stiffness.

"Finding simple noninvasive methods to measure aortic pulse wave velocity in the clinic may help physicians to better inform middle-aged and older adults about their level of cardiovascular risk," Pierce says, noting that past studies have shown that regular exercise protects the aorta from hardening in those age groups.


Contact: Richard Lewis
University of Iowa

Related biology news :

1. New frog species from Panama dyes fingers yellow
2. What mechanism generates our fingers and toes?
3. Taking the pulse of volcanoes using satellite images
4. CellTrust SecureSMS PULSE Integrated to Santech Health for Secure Text Messaging of Biometrics and PHI will be Demonstrated at HIMSS 2013
5. Feinstein Institute collaborates with GSK, UPenn, MIT to research bodys electrical impulses
6. UofL research holds promise of therapeutic approach for gum disease
7. When the soil holds not enough phosphorus
8. Remote Siberian lake holds clues to Arctic -- and Antarctic -- climate change
9. New compound holds promise for treating Duchenne MD, other inherited diseases
10. B cell survival holds key to chronic graft vs. host disease
11. Vitamin D holds promise in battling a deadly breast cancer, Saint Louis University researchers say
Post Your Comments:
(Date:3/28/2017)... 2017 The report "Video Surveillance ... Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and Service ... Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market was ... projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, at ... base year considered for the study is 2016 and ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. ... have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative ... ... Maldives Immigration ... Algeen (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR award for ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD ... 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... DuPont Pioneer and recently formed ... entered into a multiyear collaboration to identify and characterize novel CRISPR-Cas nucleases. The ... gene editing across all applications. , Under the terms of the agreement, Pioneer ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... AMRI, a global ... industries to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, will now be offering ... being attributed to new regulatory requirements for all new drug products, including the ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... any gene in its endogenous context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use ... with small RNA guides is transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Proscia Inc ., a ... Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” with Dr. Nicolas ... practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an increase in diagnostic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: