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The pulsatile component of blood pressure (ie, pulse pressure) has received considerable attention as an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In particular, central blood pressure measurements in the ascending aorta or in the carotid artery are expected to be more useful than conventional brachial pressure measurements for predicting cardiovascular events because central pressure, not the brachial pressure, is the pressure that target organs encounter. Due to wave reflection, the blood pressure in the upper limb does not represent the central blood pressure; therefore, leading researchers have enthusiastically promoted a noninvasive method of measuring central blood pressure and the resulting aortic stiffness. Until now, there has been an increasing body of evidence to support the accuracy and superiority of central blood pressure measurements as well as the assessment of aortic properties over classical brachial pressure measurements. In this review, the information regarding these "central" indices derived from 2 main methods, namely "pulse wave analysis" and "pulse wave velocity", for the application of central blood pressure measurements and arterial stiffness to clinical study and practice, has been summarized.