BACKGROUND:Arterial stiffness and mild-to-moderate renal dysfunction are predictors of cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and mortality. Recently, the ambulatory arterial stiffness index (AASI) has been proposed as a surrogate index of arterial stiffness. It has been associated with an enhanced risk of stroke. The aim of our study was to assess the relationship between AASI and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in a group of hypertensive patients with no CV complications.METHODS:A total of 143 untreated hypertensive subjects (mean age: 44 +/- 12 years; men 57%), with serum creatinine <1.5 mg/dl, were enrolled. AASI was calculated as one minus the regression slope of diastolic on systolic blood pressure (BP) obtained by individual 24-h BP recordings. GFR was computed from the scintigraphic determination of the technetium-99m diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid uptake within the kidneys, by the Gates'' method.RESULTS:Hypertensive patients with AASI above the median value (n = 71) had lower GFR than those with AASI below the median (n = 72) (98.3 +/- 31 vs. 122.4 +/- 32 ml/min/1.73 m(2); P < 0.001). This difference held even after adjustment for age and gender. The linear regression analysis disclosed a significant inverse correlation between GFR and AASI (r = -0.30; P < 0.001), that was replicated (beta = -0.19; P = 0.02) in a multiple regression model including, as independent variables (besides AASI), age, gender, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, body mass index, 24-h pulse pressure (PP) and nocturnal reduction in BP.CONCLUSIONS:AASI is inversely related to GFR in arterial hypertension. This may help to explain the increased CV risk associated with mild-to-moderate renal dysfunction.