Using the brachial--ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) as a biomarker for arteriosclerosis, we studied the effect of blood pressure (BP) and BP control on arteriosclerosis progression.
Methods and results:
The community-based longitudinal Kailuan study included 6552 participants [4938 (75.37%) men] with a mean follow-up of 4.62 ± 2.21 years. Hypertension was defined based on the Joint National Committee (JNC7) criteria and the 2017 American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines. All study participants had hypertension and were stratified as follows according to BP at baseline and follow-up: the normal--normal [normal BP (under therapy) at baseline and final follow-up], normal--hypertensive, hypertensive--normal, and hypertensive--hypertensive groups. Using the JNC7-based hypertension definition, the annual baPWV increase was the highest (P < 0.001) in the hypertensive--hypertensive group [17.32 cm/s; 95% confidence interval [CI]:9.7--24.9], followed by the normal--hypertensive group (14.44 cm/s; 95% CI:5.5--23.4), and the hypertensive--normal group (0.88 cm/s; 95% CI: −7.84 to 9.60), with the normal--normal group as the reference group in a multivariable model. The model additionally included parameters, such as age, baseline baPWV, heart rate, BMI, serum glucose concentration, prevalence of antihypertensive treatment and alcohol consumption, heart rate, and estimated glomerular filtration rate. Applying the ACC/AHA guidelines and the same multivariable model, the annual baPWV increase was the highest (P < 0.001) in the hypertensive--hypertensive group (43.54 cm/s; 95% CI: 22.54--64.55), followed by the normal--hypertensive group (34.01 cm/s; 95% CI: 10.39--57.62) and the hypertensive--normal group (24.12 cm/s; 95% CI: 1.24--47.00).
Lower BP and medical reduction in increased BP were associated with a reduction in the baPWV increase and may delay the progression of arteriosclerosis in hypertensive patients.