BACKGROUND: Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV) correlates well with arterial distensibility and stiffness and is a useful approach for evaluating the severity of systemic arteriosclerosis in adults. In addition, measurement of brachial-ankle PWV (baPWV) has been commonly reported as a simple, noninvasive, and practicable method. Arterial stiffness assessed by PWV could predict cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In this study, we investigated the association between the changes of baPWV and cardiovascular risk factors in Korean women using data from follow-up evaluations. METHODS: The subjects were 626 women (age, 47.2 +/- 8.2) in whom we measured baPWV and cardiovascular risk factors at baseline and about one year later. Arterial stiffness was evaluated by baPWV and biological parameters were evaluated on the same day. We retrospectively analyzed the relationships between changes of baPWV and those other factors. All analyses were performed with SPSS ver. 20.0 and p-values < 0.05 were considered significant. RESULTS: In correlation analysis, changes of baPWV were affected by changes in systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), pulse pressure, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol. Multiple regression analysis of relationship between changes of baPWV and other associated variables shows that improvement of baPWV was significantly positively associated with changes of SBP and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), and worsening of baPWV was significantly negatively associated with changes of DBP, age, and SBP in sequence. CONCLUSIONS: In improvement of baPWV, decreases of SBP and HbA1c and in worsening of baPWV, increases of DBP, age, and SBP were significant factors in Korean women.