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Hypertens Res. 2011 Jul;34(7):846-50. doi: 10.1038/hr.2011.54. Epub 2011 May 12.

Visit-to-visit variability in blood pressure over a 1-year period is a marker of left ventricular diastolic dysfunction in treated hypertensive patients.

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Department of Integrated Medicine, Kagawa University, Kagawa, Japan.


Although visit-to-visit variability in systolic blood pressure (SBP) has recently been demonstrated to be a strong predictor of stroke, there are no data about relationships between SBP variability and cardiac damage in hypertensive patients. We compared relationships between visit-to-visit variability in SBP and left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction with the relationships between the mean SBP value and cardiac parameters in treated patients. Forty treated hypertensive patients (69 ± 9 years of age) had their blood pressure measured at outpatient clinics every 1 or 2 months over a 1-year period. The standard deviation (s.d.) of SBP and the difference between the maximum and minimum SBPs during this year were calculated to assess visit-to-visit variability. The mean SBP during the year was also calculated. LV diastolic function was assessed by the ratio (E/A) of early (E) and late (A) diastolic transmitral flows, early diastolic mitral annular velocity (e') and the ratio (E/e') of E to e' using Doppler echocardiography. E/A only correlated with the s.d. of SBP (r=-0.327, P=0.040), whereas e' correlated with s.d. of SBP (r=-0.496, P=0.001) and maximum-minimum SBP difference (r=-0.490, P=0.001). E/e' correlated with s.d. of SBP (r=0.384, P=0.014), maximum-minimum SBP difference (r=0.410, P=0.009), and the mean value of SBP (r=0.349, P=0.028). Multiple regression analysis demonstrated only the maximum-minimum SBP difference independently associated with E/e' (β=0.410, P=0.009). Thus, the visit-to-visit variability of SBP showed better correlation with LV diastolic dysfunction than mean values of SBP. High visit-to-visit variability of SBP was associated with LV diastolic dysfunction and may constitute a high risk for diastolic heart failure in hypertensive patients.

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