Objective: To assess the influence of caffeine on arterial stiffness by exploring the association of urinary excretion of caffeine and its related metabolites with pulse pressure (PP) and pulse wave velocity (PWV). Participants and Methods: Families were randomly selected from the general population of 3 Swiss cities from November 25, 2009, through April 4, 2013. Pulse pressure was defined as the difference between the systolic and diastolic blood pressures obtained by 24-hour ambulatory monitoring. Carotid-femoral PWV was determined by applanation tonometry. Urinary caffeine, paraxanthine, theophylline, and theobromine excretions were measured in 24-hour urine collections. Multivariate linear and logistic mixed models were used to explore the associations of quartiles of urinary caffeine and metabolite excretions with PP, high PP, and PWV. Results: We included 863 participants with a mean ± SD age of 47.1±17.6 years, 24-hour PP of 41.9±9.2 mm Hg, and PWV of 8.0±2.3 m/s. Mean (SE) brachial PP decreased from 43.5 (0.5) to 40.5 (0.6) mm Hg from the lowest to the highest quartiles of 24-hour urinary caffeine excretion (P<.001). The odds ratio (95% CI) of high PP decreased linearly from 1.0 to 0.52 (0.31-0.89), 0.38 (0.22-0.65), and 0.31 (0.18-0.55) from the lowest to the highest quartile of 24-hour urinary caffeine excretion (P<.001). Mean (SE) PWV in the highest caffeine excretion quartile was significantly lower than in the lowest quartile (7.8 [0.1] vs 8.1 [0.1] m/s; P=.03). Similar associations were found for paraxanthine and theophylline, whereas no associations were found with theobromine. Conclusion: Urinary caffeine, paraxanthine, and theophylline excretions were associated with decreased parameters of arterial stiffness, suggesting a protective effect of caffeine intake beyond its blood pressure–lowering effect.
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