Although the negative prognostic implication of a clinical history of arterial hypertension in myocardial infarction (MI) survivors is well known, the predictive role of the blood pressure (BP) regimen after MI is not well defined. The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic significance of different BP indices in post-MI.
Methods and results
We evaluated the relationship between baseline systolic, diastolic, pulse and mean arterial pressure (MAP), measured by sphygmomanometry at discharge from hospital or within 3 months of an MI, and total and cardiovascular mortality in 11 116 patients enrolled in the GISSI-Prevenzione trial. Over 3.5 years of follow-up, 999 patients died, 657 of them from cardiovascular causes. Low mean and high pulse pressure were significantly associated with total and cardiovascular mortality after controlling for potential confounders in the multivariate analysis. As compared with patients with less extreme BP values, patients with MAP of 80 mmHg or less (n = 1241; 11.2%) had a 48% higher risk of cardiovascular death [95% confidenceinterval (CI) 1.16–1.87; P = 0.001] and those with pulse pressure greater than 60 mmHg (n = 958; 8.6%) had a 35% higher risk (95% CI 1.09–1.69; P = 0.007); only four subjects (0.04%) had both a high pulse pressure and a low MAP (relative risk of cardiovascular death 3.48; 95% CI 0.48–25.88; P = 0.218).
Our results show for the first time an additional prognostic importance of two easily measurable components of BP, definitely high pulse pressure (> 60 mmHg) and low MAP (≤ 80 mmHg), in a large sample of non-selected patients surviving MI who entered a modern programme of cardiovascular prevention.