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The Rationale/Design of the Guimarães/Vizela Study
  1. Pedro Guimarães Cunha, MD*†‡,
  2. Jorge Cotter, PhD, MD*†‡,
  3. Pedro Oliveira, PhD§,
  4. Isabel Vila, BSN*,
  5. Nuno Sousa, PhD, MD†‡
  1. From the *Center for the Research and Treatment of Arterial Hypertension and Cardiovascular Risk, Internal Medicine Department, Guimarães–Centro Hospitalar do Alto Ave, and †Life and Health Science Research Institute (ICVS), School of Health Science, University of Minho; ‡ICVS/3B’s–PT Government Associate Laboratory, Braga/Guimarães; and §Departamento de Estudo de Populações, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal.
  1. Received November 4, 2013, and in revised form January 23, 2014.
  2. Accepted for publication January 23, 2014.
  3. Reprints: Pedro Guimarães Cunha, MD, Center for the Research and Treatment of Arterial Hypertension and Cardiovascular Risk, Serviço de Medicina Interna do Hospital de Guimarães, Centro Hospitalar do Alto Ave, Life and Health Science Research Institute (ICVS), University of Minho, Rua dos Cutileiros, Creixomil, 4810, Guimarães. Portugal. E-mail: pedrogcunha{at}; pedrocunha{at}
  4. All authors declare no conflict of interest.
  5. Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citation appears in the printed text and is provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (

A Multimodal Population-Based Cohort Study to Determine Global Cardiovascular Risk and Disease


Background Cardiovascular disease and dementia are growing medical and social problems in aging societies. Appropriate knowledge of cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline risk factors (RFs) are critical for global CVR health preventive intervention. Many epidemiological studies use case definition based on data collected/measured in a single visit, a fact that can overestimate prevalence rates and distant from clinical practice demanding criteria. Portugal displays an elevated stroke mortality rate. However, population’s global CV risk characterization is limited, namely, considering traditional/nontraditional RF and new intermediate phenotypes of CV and renal disease. Association of hemodynamic variables (pulse wave velocity and central blood pressure) with global CVR stratification, cognitive performance, and kidney disease are practically inexistent at a dwelling population level.

Study Design and Methods After reviewing published data, we designed a population-based cohort study to analyze the prevalence of these cardiovascular RFs and intermediate phenotypes, using random sampling of adult dwellers living in 2 adjacent cities. Strict definition of phenotypes was planned: subjects were observed twice, and several hemodynamic and other biological variables measured at least 3 months apart.

Results Three thousand thirty-eight subjects were enrolled, and extensive data collection (including central and peripheral blood pressure, pulse wave velocity), sample processing, and biobank edification were carried out. One thousand forty-seven cognitive evaluations were performed.

Conclusions Seeking for CV risk reclassification, early identification of subjects at risk, and evidence of early vascular aging and cognitive and renal function decline, using the strict daily clinical practice criteria, will lead to better resource allocation in preventive measures at a population level.

Key Words
  • blood pressure
  • cardiovascular risk
  • chronic kidney disease
  • cognitive impairment
  • arterial stiffness
  • early vascular aging

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