Aldosterone-to-renin ratio (ARR) is a screening tool for primary aldosteronism (PA), but the significance of ARR when the PA criteria are not met remains largely unknown. In this cross-sectional study we investigated the association of ARR with haemodynamic variables in 545 normotensive and never-medicated hypertensive subjects (267 men, 278 women, age range 19-72 years) without suspicion of PA. Supine haemodynamic data was recorded using whole-body impedance cardiography and radial tonometric pulse wave analysis. In sex-adjusted quartiles of ARR, determined as serum aldosterone to plasma renin activity ratio, the mean values were 282, 504, 744 and 1467 pmol/µg of angiotensin I/h, respectively. The only difference in haemodynamic variables between the ARR quartiles was higher pulse wave velocity (PWV) in the highest quartile versus other quartiles (p = 0.004), while no differences in blood pressure (BP), heart rate, wave reflections, cardiac output or systemic vascular resistance were observed between the quartiles. In linear regression analysis with stepwise elimination, ARR was an independent explanatory factor for PWV (β = 0.146, p < 0.001, R2 of the model 0.634). In conclusion, ARR was directly and independently associated with large arterial stiffness in individuals without clinical suspicion of PA. Therefore, ARR could serve as a clinical marker of cardiovascular risk.Trial registration: ClinicalTrails.gov: NCT01742702.
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