Insufficient Water Intake May Correlate with Increased Arterial Stiffness

As a companion piece to a recent discussion of whether mild dehydration is both quite prevalent and meaningfully impacts aspects of aging, one might look at this study of water consumption and vascular health in hyperuremic individuals. A relationship between lower water intake and arterial stiffness was only significant in women, but nonetheless it is interesting to see data that suggests at least some populations are harming themselves over the long term via too little water intake.

Hyperuricemia is defined as an elevated serum uric acid (sUA) level in the blood and is well-known as an independent risk factor for the development of hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. Water is essential to most bodily functions, and its consumption rates appear to decline with age. The aim was to evaluate the influence of water intake on early vascular aging in metabolic middle-aged patients with hyperuricemia.

The study included 241 men aged 40-55 years and 420 women aged 50-65 years from the Lithuanian High Cardiovascular Risk (LitHiR) primary prevention program. Anthropometric characteristics, blood pressure, laboratory testing, and the specialized nutrition profile questionnaire were evaluated. Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV), assessed using applanation tonometry, was evaluated as an early vascular aging parameter in patients with hyperuricemia and with normal sUA levels.

72.6% of men and 83.1% of women drink insufficient amounts of water (less than 1.5 L per day). However, our results showed statistically significant relationships only among a group of women. The women in the hyperuricemic group had a higher cfPWV than women with normal sUA levels. In hyperuricemic women, drinking less than 0.5 L per day in combination with other risk factors, such as age, increasing fasting glucose, and systolic blood pressure, was statistically significantly associated with an increased cfPWV.


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