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Pulse pressure or dipping pattern: which one is a better cardiovascular risk marker in resistant hypertension?

Muxfeldt, Elizabeth S; Salles, Gil F

doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e3282f55021
Original papers: Blood pressure measurement

Objective Nocturnal blood pressure (BP) reduction and ambulatory pulse pressure (PP) are well known prognostic markers obtained from ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM). The aim of this study is to investigate which one of these ABPM parameters is related to high cardiovascular risk profile in resistant hypertension, based on their associations with target organ damage (TOD).

Methods Clinical-demographic, laboratory and ABPM variables were recorded in a cross-sectional study involving 907 resistant hypertensive patients. Nocturnal systolic BP reduction and 24-h PP were assessed both as continuous and dichotomized variables (PP at the upper tertile value: 63 mmHg). Statistical analyses included bivariate tests and multivariate logistic regression with each TOD as the dependent variable.

Results Patients with the nondipping pattern and high 24-h PP shared some characteristics: they were older, had higher prevalence of cerebrovascular disease and nephropathy, higher office and 24-h BP levels, increased serum creatinine and microalbuminuria, and higher left ventricular mass index than their counterparts. Additionally, patients with high PP had a greater prevalence of diabetes and other TOD. In multivariate logistic regression, high PP was independently associated with all TODs even after adjustment for sex, age, BMI, cardiovascular risk factors, 24-h mean arterial pressure and antihypertensive treatment, whereas nondipping pattern was only associated with hypertensive nephropathy. Furthermore, PP was more strongly associated with the number of TOD than the nocturnal systolic blood pressure (SBP) fall.

Conclusions In a large group of resistant hypertensive patients, an increased 24-h PP shows a closer correlation with high cardiovascular risk profile than the nocturnal BP reduction.

Hypertension Program, University Hospital Clementino Fraga Filho, Medical School, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Received 22 August, 2007

Revised 28 October, 2007

Accepted 10 December, 2007

Correspondence to Dr Elizabeth Silaid Muxfeldt, PhD, Rua Conde de Bonfim, 590/601, Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro — RJ, Brazil, CEP 20520-055 Tel: +55 21 2570 1374; fax: +55 21 3238 2393; e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.