In Russia, the average life span is decreasing. This phenomenon has not been previously observed in the western hemisphere during periods of relative peace. Although this trend can be attributed to various causes, the available statistics suggest that approximately 55% of the total mortality in Russia at the present time is due to cardiovascular events. Similarly, cardiovascular events are also increasing in Japan and are associated with changes in eating habits. A Japanese-Russian international collaborative study was therefore initiated to investigate this. Data on 102 normal Russian subjects were obtained from a total of 345 patients treated at the Smolensk State Medical Academy outpatients' clinic. The data on the Japanese patients were collected at Tohoku University, Tohoku Rosai Hospital, and Fukuda Denshi Company. Sixty-seven healthy male Japanese volunteers were compared with 44 healthy male Russian patients. In this study, Vasera VS1000 (Fukuda Denshi, Tokyo) was utilized to measure pulse wave velocity (PWV). Linear regression analysis was performed, and the results showed that brachial-ankle PWV (baPWV) was significantly higher in the Russian compared with the Japanese study group. With regard to aging, PWV was found to increase both in the Japanese and Russian subjects, with a significant increase in the latter group during their 40s compared with the Japanese, and with this tendency being carried forward into the 50s. This may be the principal cause for the higher incidence of cardiovascular events reported among Russians. Furthermore, when a straight line regression analysis was performed, the zero axis intercept in both cases showed almost the same value. These results indicated that the PWV may be almost the same in Japanese and Russian populations at the time of birth. In conclusion, at the time of birth, there is no difference in the atherosclerotic status of Japanese and Russian infants. However, over time atherosclerosis becomes more apparent and progresses significantly in the case of Russian subjects. This finding is observed through the analysis of PWV. The present authors intend to continue their study aimed at preventing the further development of atherosclerosis through medical intervention.
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