Background: Platelet counts and mean platelet volume (MPV) are related to cardiovascular disease, but a thorough investigation into the connection between increased arterial stiffness, MPV, and platelet counts is lacking. This study aimed to explore the association of platelet count and MPV with arterial stiffness in young and middle-aged adults.

Methods: A total of 2464 participants who underwent health checkups at National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Taiwan from November 2018 to December 2019 were included. We excluded participants aged <18 or >50 years; who are pregnant; on medication for dyslipidemia; with abnormal platelet count, incomplete data, and past history of hematologic disorders. We examined the association of platelet counts and MPV values with brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) levels and increased arterial stiffness.

Results: Platelet count was significantly higher in participants with increased arterial stiffness than in those without. The multiple linear regression model revealed that platelet counts were positively associated with baPWV levels (β = 1.88, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.96 to 2.80). In the binary logistic regression analysis, subjects in the higher platelet counts quartiles had a higher risk of developing increased arterial stiffness (Q2 vs. Q1: odds ratio (OR): 1.54, 95% CI: 1.05 to 2.27; Q3 vs. Q1: OR: 1.57, 95% CI: 1.06 to 2.33; and Q4 vs. Q1: OR: 2.23, 95% CI: 1.50 to 3.30). In contrast, MPV levels were not associated with arterial stiffness.

Conclusions: Platelet count in midlife was positively associated with baPWV levels. Participants in higher platelet quartiles were at risk for increased arterial stiffness.