Implications of pulse pressure as a predictor of cardiac risk in patients with hypertension

John Millar, A.F. Lever

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    Previously we demonstrated that pulse pressure is a strong risk factor for coronary events in male hypertensive subjects in the MRC Mild Hypertension Trial, whereas stroke is best predicted by mean blood pressure. In this study, we have assessed the implications of this finding in the treatment of mild essential hypertension; We examined the relationship between diastolic blood pressure and both coronary disease risk and stroke when these events were predicted by the above blood pressure measures using an empirical linear model and multivariate logistic regression models that contained data from the MRC trial. Under these circumstances, the predicted stroke risk increased progressively with increasing values of diastolic blood pressure, but in both empirical and formal statistical models, the predicted risk of a coronary event exhibited a I-shaped relationship with diastolic blood pressure. These results suggest that if coronary event risk in mild essential hypertension is predicted by pulse pressure then it may increase at low values of diastolic blood pressure, in contrast to stroke risk, which declines continuously as diastolic blood pressure falls within the physiological range. This raises the possibility that different sequelae of hypertension are best predicted by different measures of blood pressure and that the effect of treatment on stroke and coronary events in some circumstances may be discordant.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)907-911
    Publication statusPublished - 2000

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