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J Hypertens. 2012 Jan;30(1):67-74. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e32834e12d8.

Association of central and peripheral pulse pressure with intermediate cardiovascular phenotypes.

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BHF Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.



We assessed the relationship between pulse pressure and intermediate cardiovascular phenotypes in a middle-aged cohort with high prevalence of hypertension.


It has been suggested that central pulse pressure (cPP) is a better predictor of cardiovascular outcome than peripheral pulse pressure (pPP), particularly in the elderly. Yet, it is unclear if cPP provides additional prognostic information to pPP in younger individuals.


In 535 individuals we assessed cPP and pPP as well as the intermediate cardiovascular phenotypes pulse wave velocity (PWV; SphygmoCor, Complior, PulsePen), carotid intima-media thickness (C-IMT; carotid ultrasound), left-ventricular mass index (LVMI; echocardiography) and urinary albumin : creatinine ratio (ACR). cPP was derived noninvasively from brachial blood pressure by pulse wave analysis (PWA; SphygmoCor) based on radial pulse wave tonometry and a validated transfer function.


The cohort contained 331 hypertensive participants of whom 84% were treated. The average age was 46 ± 16 years. When compared to pPP, cPP had stronger associations with PWV (r = 0.471 vs. r = 0.372; P < 0.01), C-IMT (r = 0.426 vs. r = 0.235; P < 0.01) and LVMI (r = 0.385 vs. r = 0.189; P < 0.01), but equal association with ACR (r = 0.236 vs. r = 0.226; P = n.s.). In contrast, after adjustment for age, mean arterial pressure, heart rate and hypertension status there was no significant difference between cPP and pPP for prediction of PWV (adjusted R, 0.399 vs. 0.413; P = 0.066), C-IMT (adjusted R, 0.399 vs. 0.413; P = 0.487) and LVMI (adjusted R, 0.181 vs. 0.170; P = 0.094) in multivariate analysis.


In our middle-aged cohort with high prevalence of hypertension cPP is more closely correlated with cardiovascular phenotypes than pPP. When adjusted for relevant cofactors, however, cPP does not provide additional information beyond pPP.

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