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Eur Heart J. 2002 Apr;23(8):658-65.

Prevalent influence of systolic over pulse pressure on left ventricular mass in essential hypertension.

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Cardiologia e Fisiopatologia Cardiovascolare, Università de Perugia, Perugia, Italy.



Elevated pulse pressure, an index of increased large artery stiffness, has been associated with increased left ventricular mass. It is unknown whether this relation is independent or mediated by other blood pressure components.


We examined data in 2545 untreated hypertensive subjects (45% women) who underwent echocardiography and 24-h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. Left ventricular mass increased with all blood pressure components and all associations were closer with ambulatory than with office blood pressure. In a multiple regression analysis, after adjustment for the significant association with age, gender, body weight and duration of hypertension, the proportion of variability of left ventricular mass explained by systolic blood pressure was greater than that explained by other blood pressure components. When different blood pressure components were forced into the same model, the same degree of left ventricular mass variability was accounted for by models including 24-h systolic blood pressure alone, or 24-h mean blood pressure plus 24-h pulse pressure, or 24-h diastolic blood pressure plus 24-h pulse pressure. When 24-h systolic blood pressure and 24-h pulse pressure were forced into the same model, 24-h pulse pressure lost statistical significance.


The association between pulse pressure and left ventricular mass is explained by systolic blood pressure, which is the main pressure determinant of left ventricular mass in essential hypertension.

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