Navigation Links
Your finger's pulse holds the key to your heart's health
Date:9/4/2013

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
richard-c-lewis@uiowa.edu
319-384-0012
University of Iowa
Source:Eurekalert

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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/30/2016)... , Nov. 30, 2016 Not many of us realize that we ... of recovery so we need to do it well. Inadequate sleep levels have been ... blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. Maybe now is the best ... that could help them to manage their sleep quality? ... ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... , Nov. 29, 2016   ... identification and object recognition technologies, today released ... for fingerprint recognition solutions that run on ... fingerprint template using less than 128KB of ... compact devices that have limited on-board resources, ...
(Date:11/24/2016)... Cercacor today introduced Ember TM Sport ... non-invasively measure hemoglobin, Oxygen Content, Oxygen Saturation, Perfusion ... in approximately 30 seconds. Smaller than a smartphone, using ... to key data about their bodies to help monitor ... Hemoglobin carries oxygen to muscles. When hemoglobin ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... Mass. , Nov. 30, 2016   Merck ... that it has entered into a set of agreements ... services for Merck,s collection of genetic reagents such as ... with Evotec,s screening expertise offers an accelerated pathway to ... discovery starts with the identification of new targets, a ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... Energetiq Technology, a world leader ... generation, ultra-bright, Laser-Driven Light Source, the EQ-77, at the MRS Fall Exhibit 2016. ... offers higher radiance and irradiance from a truly broadband white light source. The ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... On 28 November 2016, the International Union ... nihonium (Nh), moscovium (Mc), tennessine (Ts), and oganesson (Og), respectively for element 113, ... earlier proposed by the discoverers have been approved by the IUPAC Bureau. The IUPAC ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... of precision treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced that all five of its ... 3, 2016) blocked propagation of toxic, prion-like forms of Amyloid beta (Aß) in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: