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Br J Gen Pract. 2016 May;66(646):e297-308. doi: 10.3399/bjgp16X684949. Epub 2016 Apr 14.

Inter-arm blood pressure difference and mortality: a cohort study in an asymptomatic primary care population at elevated cardiovascular risk.

Author information

1
Primary Care Research Group, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, Devon.
2
Centre for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh.
3
NIHR Exeter Clinical Research Facility, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, and Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, Devon.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Differences in blood pressure between arms are associated with increased cardiovascular mortality in cohorts with established vascular disease or substantially elevated cardiovascular risk.

AIM:

To explore the association of inter-arm difference (IAD) with mortality in a community-dwelling cohort that is free of cardiovascular disease.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Cohort analysis of a randomised controlled trial in central Scotland, from April 1998 to October 2008.

METHOD:

Volunteers from Lanarkshire, Glasgow, and Edinburgh, free of pre-existing vascular disease and with an ankle-brachial index ≤0.95, had systolic blood pressure measured in both arms at recruitment. Inter-arm blood pressure differences were calculated and examined for cross-sectional associations and differences in prospective survival. Outcome measures were cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality during mean follow-up of 8.2 years.

RESULTS:

Based on a single pair of measurements, 60% of 3350 participants had a systolic IAD ≥5 mmHg and 38% ≥10 mmHg. An IAD ≥5 mmHg was associated with increased cardiovascular mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.91, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.19 to 3.07) and all-cause mortality (adjusted HR 1.44, 95% CI = 1.15 to 1.79). Within the subgroup of 764 participants who had hypertension, IADs of ≥5 mmHg or ≥10 mmHg were associated with both cardiovascular mortality (adjusted HR 2.63, 95% CI = 0.97 to 7.02, and adjusted HR 2.96, 95% CI = 1.27 to 6.88, respectively) and all-cause mortality (adjusted HR 1.67, 95% CI = 1.05 to 2.66, and adjusted HR 1.63, 95% CI = 1.06 to 2.50, respectively). IADs ≥15 mmHg were not associated with survival differences in this population.

CONCLUSION:

Systolic IADs in blood pressure are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events, including mortality, in a large cohort of people free of pre-existing vascular disease.

KEYWORDS:

blood pressure; cardiovascular diseases; cohort studies; inter-arm difference; primary care; subclavian artery stenosis

PMID:
27080315
PMCID:
PMC4838441
DOI:
10.3399/bjgp16X684949
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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