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Hypertension. 1994 Mar;23(3):395-401.

Relation of pulse pressure and blood pressure reduction to the incidence of myocardial infarction.

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Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461.


The prognostic value of pretreatment pulse pressure as a predictor of myocardial infarction and the relation of pulse pressure and in-treatment diastolic blood pressure reduction to myocardial infarction were investigated in a union-sponsored systematic hypertension control program. In a prospective study, 2207 hypertensive patients with a pretreatment systolic blood pressure greater than or equal to 160 mm Hg and/or diastolic pressure greater than or equal to 95 mm Hg grouped according to tertile of pulse pressure (PP1, < or = 46; PP2, 47 to 62; PP3, > or = 63 mm Hg) were further stratified by the degree of diastolic fall: large (L), > or = 18; moderate (M), 7 to 17; small (S), < or = 6 mm Hg. During an average follow-up of 5 years, 132 cardiovascular events (50 myocardial infarctions, 23 strokes) were observed. Myocardial infarction rates per 1000 person-years were positively related to pulse pressure (PP1, 3.5; PP2, 2.9; PP3, 7.5; PP3 versus PP1, P = .02). Wide pulse pressure was identified as a predictor of myocardial infarction (PP3 versus [PP1 + PP2]: relative risk [RR] = 2.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2-4.1), controlling for other known risk factors by Cox regression. A curvilinear relation (resembling a J shape) between diastolic fall and myocardial infarction was observed in patients with the widest pulse pressure, PP3 (L, 9.5; M, 3.9; S, 11.2; L versus M: RR = 2.5, 95% CI = 1.0-6.2; S versus M: RR = 2.9, 95% CI = 1.1-8.0).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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