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Hypertens Res. 2012 Sep;35(9):922-7. doi: 10.1038/hr.2012.52. Epub 2012 Apr 26.

Association of early systolic blood pressure response to exercise with future cardiovascular events in patients with uncomplicated mild-to-moderate hypertension.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


The relationship between blood pressure (BP) response during exercise and future cardiovascular events remains unclear. We assessed the association between an increase in early systolic BP (SBP) during exercise tests and future cardiovascular events in patients with sustained hypertension (sHT). Between 2002 and 2005, we enrolled 300 patients newly diagnosed with mild-to-moderate sHT without complications from the Asan Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring registry. All the patients successfully performed treadmill tests, achieving target heart rate according to the Naughton/Balke protocol. The patients were divided into quartiles according to their SBP at 8 min (7.4 metabolic equivalent tasks). The primary outcome was the composite of all-cause death, new-onset ischemic heart disease and stroke. The 5-year survival rates did not differ significantly among quartiles 1-4 (100% vs. 96.6% vs. 94.4% vs. 98.3%, P=0.211). Relative to quartile 1, the 5-year event-free survival rates were significantly lower in patients in quartiles 3 (86.9% vs. 98.3%, P=0.023) and 4 (88.2% vs. 98.3%, P=0.023). After multivariable adjustment for covariates, the risk for the composite end point was higher for patients in quartiles 3 (Hazard ratio (HR) 4.69, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.28-17.13, P=0.020) and 4 (HR 3.65, 95% CI 0.92-14.50, P=0.065) than in quartiles 1 and 2. Cardiovascular risk was significantly higher in patients with stage 4 SBP (>180 mm Hg) even after adjustment (HR 4.00, 95% CI 1.19-13.44, P=0.025). Increased submaximal SBP response to exercise may be a predictor of future cardiovascular events in patients with mild-to-moderate sHT.

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